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THE HOT SPOT
Winter Cocktails We Love: Ward III and The Darby

Let's face it Halloween weekend this year felt more like December than last week did. But the cold is slowly creeping in, and the warmest part of the day is right when the sun goes down. (ironic? we think not.) Let's make the warmest part of the day coincidentally be the same time as post work drinks (insert winking smiley face).

Let's say the weather is wreaking havoc outside and you can't wait for your flight to St. Barts (New Years, here we come). What to do? Stop by the infamous Darby and order up a 'Hemingway' will bring you to the Caribbean faster than that private airliner ever could in a few short weeks. This concoction of rum and other island themed juices will surely take you somewhere just under the mile high club.

CULTURE CLUB
B Flat

Don't you hate when you're strolling around TriBeCa and you feel the pitter patter of rain on your nose?

Rest assured- you can seek cozy (dry) salvation in a nearby jazz lounge, B Flat. Mozy on over to the corner of Church and White street, then descend into this cocktail haven, where the Manhattan's are mixed by the former Angel Share mixologists. This is the kind of space where sharing a moment is 'key'. And when I say key, I mean 'piano keys'.

The menu is set in an old music book, couple that with rose blush flood lights and dark mahogany wood finishes (similar to that baby grand you been eyeing on Ebay). The happy hour is what you really want when you come here, Manhattan's are $6 a piece, plus an order of fries for about $10, no amount of rain will bother you after that. And with these awesome drink specials, you may not even feel the rain!

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
MPD? Escar- Let's GO!
'Fire in Your New Shoes' -Kaskade f/ Martina of Dragonette

Is that an accordion playing in the distance...

Nope! Just your mind playing tricks on you as the the Northern Canadian air moves in this season. But for a taste of the French Riviera, trek over the brick ridden roads of the meatpacking district and cuddle up in a nice lavish velvet bound booth of MPD. This is the kind of place where 'party rockers' meets dinner party.

They offer some of the best dinner choices the neighborhood has to offer. Yet on Tuesday's they really throw a curve ball, by offering a special menu compliments of the French Riviera. Because isn't that what we 'all' want when sub-freezing temperatures are in the five day forecast?

CULTURE CLUB
Le Griffin

The Griffin is a place where one comes to lose their words, along with their inhibitions. The entire venue has been crafted in a way that is so inviting, you will never want to leave.

Once you make it past the doorman, through the exposed wood foyer, you'll enter a room like many others of the Meatpacking, yet this one is different. After settling into one of these ultra comfortable, lush, tan velvet sofas peppered over the main room, you'll take a look around and notice that there is a rather large connecting chandelier above along with the DJ being housed within a painting frame. Strange, yet innovative, keeps everything within the lines of 'classic Meatpacking'.

CHEAP EATS
Where There's Ham, There Better Be Wine
'Haunted Heart' -Little Hurricane

As all you New Yorkers know, the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade is right around the corner. That means there is going to be an overload of turkey and tryptophan coursing through your veins. Ultimately putting you in a bear-like hibernating state during Black Friday, and maybe until Cyber Monday.

If you're looking to escape the typical turkey day trance, hail a cab to 7th street between 1st avenue and Avenue A, to indulge in the Bourgeois Pig. This is a trendy East Village wine bar that serves up great wine and tapas that are both delicious and wallet-friendly. So nix your plans to have the probable overcooked bird and order up a baked brie cheese board for $17. This cheese board comes with fresh grapes and honey. Pair that alongside the lamb Morrocco tartines for $11, and your mouth will continue to thank you the rest of the night.

THE VELVET ROPE Error
Hotel Gansevoort

Head over to the brick laden roads of the Meatpacking district to seek out the Gansevoort Hotel. When you arrive, be sure to either step out of a Ferrari or have a bouquet of gorgeous ladies at your side.

For a couple of kids from Queens, this place is the epitome of 'making it'. From the grand wait on line, to the mind blowing entrance (conveniently located in the hotel lobby). It's hard not to be wowed by all the gorgeous women decorating the foyer- and when you enter in the elevator, an obvious regular will chuckle and tell you, 'Wait til you get upstairs...' And was he right!

HAPPENINGS
The Men's Health Urbanathlon
'Power' -Kanye West f/ Dwele

Last week Men's Health, Gatorade, and Jeep teamed up to help those less fortunate. These great companies sponsored and hosted an Urbanathlon. Though this was not your typical race. Urbanathlon benefits the Challenged Athlete's Foundation, also known as CAF. The CAF supports paraplegic athletes and others with prosthetics. But don't underestimate a man with a prosthetic leg. One man in that very state was running ahead of me at one point in this race.

By combining a total of ten miles running and eight urban themed obstacles only a true athlete/urbanite can overcome, everyone was in for some shocks and awes. Men's Health didn't just hold one Urbanathlon in Flushing Meadows, but there was one that took place a few short weeks ago in the windy city of Chicago. Another event will take place in two weeks in the beautiful San Francisco bay area.

WE OWN THE NIGHT
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Bay

Midtown East- specifically the 2nd avenue stretch- is filled with recent graduates and executives of all sorts. Mix in some Halloween and see what happens next!

Nothing says Halloween like a jam packed frat-style party! And Turtle Bay does one thing right when it comes to this demand: deliver. Many of the experienced patrons called ahead and pre-purchased their wirstbands that guaranteed them unlimited drinks between certain hours.

Turtle Bay is much different than that of McFadden's Saloon on a well drenched Thursday. T-Bay offers variation with multiple levels of different music and dance options. There were a few things consistent with each level of the venue: drenched stairs from spilled drinks. And each one of the bars resembled an oasis. Housing the sweet nectar with an ocean of people in your way. When you do finally arrive to the shore of the bar, fresh Bud Lights off tap and mixed cocktails are plentiful.

GET THE PARTY STARTED
Lexicon...
'Champagne Showers' -LMFAO f/ Natalia Kills

What was once the famed East Side den, Branch, is now Lexicon. Fellow Joonbugsters may remember our older siblings speaking of it on Sunday mornings over coffee, macaroons and even raspier voices. Happily, we can do the same for the next generation. And when I came here (as a last resort, mind you) it was well worth it. Totally beat the lines at Hudson Terrace, and gave the night that extra, 'UMPH!'.

The party that Lexicon provides is similar to what Snooki would like from her one Jersey Shore fav, Karma. Basically- gonna fist pump till my arm falls off!

THE VELVET ROPE
AMNH Morning After
'Beautiful People' -Chris Brown f/ Benny Benassi

Alright, so those dino celestial cocktails were much better than advertised. And sleeping alongside the newborn elephant statues in the Africa room was definitely not on the agenda.

Life, and New York City continue to baffle and surprise us all. Especially those who were lucky enough go to this exclusive party last week. Nontheless the party was more than what anyone could expect. From the moment you approched the Rose Center, there was a faint breathe of Autumn in the air as we stepped out of the town car on Central Park West, which was, in a word, refreshing. When we got into the glass enclosed wing, I couldn't help but look in amazement. That combined with the cocktails, the easy, cool tunes I'd never heard of, and the beautiful people everywhere;I knew I was in for a sure fire good time.