Monday, October 25, 2010

Week of October 26 - November 1, 2010


Procter & Gamble has opened a pop-up store in New York City as part of its Have You Tried This Yet? campaign. The pop-up store will be open now until October 31 at 101 West 57th Street (near 6th Avenue). The Pop-Up will be open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. It will offer free demonstrations and product samples from brands such as Tide, Bounty, Pringles, Charmin, Febreze, Covergirl and Olay, allowing consumers to experience the products first-hand and see what's new.



Recently, skincare companies like Orlane, Perricone MD and Natura Bisee have begun tapping into a new market with regimens formulated for the 25-year-old age group.Too old for acne treatments designed for hormonal teenage skin and too young for full-blown anti-aging treatments, women in their twenties have long been neglected of products that meet their specific skincare needs. Around age 25, the production of substances like hyaluronic acid and collagen, substances crucial for young-looking skin, decreases. The initially hidden effects of these changes emerge five or ten years later as wrinkles on the skin’s surface.Orlane, Paris spearheaded the trend earlier this year with a three-step regimen called Anagenese 25+, including:

  • Morning Recovery Concentrate First Time-Fighting Serum ($100)
  • First Time-Fighting Care Eye Contour ($85)
  • First Time-Fighting Care ($100)
Formulated specifically for women from 25 to 35, Anagenese 25+ postpones the onset of aging using pro-growth factors and crinopexy technology while providing instant, visible improvements to the skin’s luminosity and tone. Available at



Marathon season is now in full swing! GEM is pumped about running, especially after watching
the recent Chicago Marathon; the Nike Women’s Marathon; and excited about the upcoming New York City Marathon. We decided to break out our kicks and see what else we need for a good run. Whether it’s the great outdoors or the health club treadmill, don’t forget these accessories the next time you lace up your shoes and head out the door.

Zico Coconut Water:
Staying hydrated is a basic rule of thumb when engaging in
exercise. Rather than water, refill your bottle with Zico’s 100% coconut water. It contains 5 essential electrolytes, allowing your body to re-hydrate faster by replacing lost minerals. It is available at a variety of organic-based grocery stores including Whole Foods and the Fresh Market.

MiCoach Stride Sensor:
Take control, set goals, and become your own life coach with the help of Adidas miCoach. Simply clip the sensor to your laces and monitor pace, distance and stride rate. Use it in conjunction with Adidas’s other electronic products for the ultimate running experience. The miCoach is $50 and may be purchased at

New iPod Nano:

Apple has just introduced “a new way to nano” with colorful, mini iPod Nano’s. Half the size of the original Nano and even easier to play, this new music player has been completely redesigned with Multi-Touch — the same technology that makes iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch so high-tech! Just clip this cute colorful iPod anywhere and you can run to your favorite tunes with ease. To purchase visit any

Nike Swift Y-back Women’s Sports Bra:
Its gym class meets chemistry lab with Nike’s new design being the fashionable result. The Dri-FIT fabric offers ventilation by wicking excess sweat away from the body and bringing it to the fabric’s surface, where it
then evaporates. This leaves the runner feeling dry and comfortable with the support needed to cross the finish line. Available at

Deuce Brand Pink Ribbon Watch:

The ultimate must-have for every work-out, this water-proof watch will wi
thstand the most strenuous of activities, rain or shine. Not to mention, the pink band will add a dash of pizzazz to even the dreariest of mornings. Deuce Brand Pink Ribbon Watches cost $20.00 each and 10% of each watch goes directly to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The watches can be purchased online at and at various retailers around the country.



Bringing the “Heat” this season is an all new LeBron James signature shoe. The LEBRON 8 uses the best of Max Air 360 and Flywire technology to create a solid performance shoe.
The LEBRON 8 is classically crafted and modeled after the shell of a dress shoe.Functional detailing in the perimeter of the outsole provides flexibility while representing LeBron’s personal inspiration points. Deep cut forefoot flex grooves provide an optimal range of motion. Lightweight multidirectional herringbone pattern specifically designed for LeBron’s first step and his quick cuts.

The lion on the front-side of the tongue represents LeBron’s ravenous nature – like that of a hunter on the basketball court. The tongue-back label is a nod to bespoke off court attire, and highlights the crafted nature of the LEBRON 8 made specifically for Mr. LeBron James. The numbers 828 represent the 82 regular season games and the 28 playoff games.

The height differential between the collar and heel has increased, which results in better lock down and more Achilles flexion.

The structural TPU injected frame around Flywire technology, delivers ergonomic zonally-designed support, for lightweight lockdown only where needed.

The Swoosh design was moved back on the LEBRON 8 towards the rear of the shoe, ending on unique spoiler loop, to symbolize LeBron’s speed on court.

Midsole compression molded Phylon interface works in concert with Max Air 360 cushioning to help guide through the footstrike and further enhance the ride.

Max Air 360 unit was designed for ultimate cushioning and impact protection.

The alternating formation of the laces eye row was created for better fit, with a top eyelet to provide enhanced lockdown through dual pull design, shaped like the number 8.

The fully integrated, seamless mesh innersleeve provides breathability and comfort.

Outsole geometry combined with X Flex design decouples the heel to displace force and pressure.

For more info visit



With Halloween just around the corner, if you don’t have your costume together visit for an array of fun and flirty costumes, from popular styles like French Maid and Cop, to intricate, high-end get-ups like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” look. One of this year’s most popular collections is the “Adult Tea Party,” which offers a selection of costumes inspired by the hit film “Alice in Wonderland!”


Day of the Dead

Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead on November 1st and the 2nd. The tradition suggests the belief that between October 31st and the day of the celebration, the souls of the dearly departed roam the earth to enjoy the pleasures they had in their earthly life. The holiday is meant to honor those who have passed, and celebrate their life.

As a result of the mixing of cultures and their Catholic and Mayan antecedents, the days of the dead are a time of great family togetherness in which the whole family take part and everyone is involved.

Throughout the state of Quintana Roo, “Hanal Pixan” -as the Day of the Dead is known within the Mayan tradition- is one of the most significant traditions, due to all the preparations involved: the building of beautiful altars, adorned with palm crosses, candles, drinks, pictures and the “deceased’s” favorite food comes to life. During “Hanal Pixan”, people pray and sing, sweep the yards and paint the walls to receive the dead with full honors.

Gastronomically, “Hanal Pixan” is a celebration that bursts with flavor. Large portions of the best dishes are prepared, with the idea that the souls enjoy earthly pleasures such as food. Proof of this is the Mucbipollo, from the Mayan “Pib” which means “buried” and is a tamale or corn cake stuffed with chicken, sauce, broth and spices, cooked in a hole in the ground and covered with banana leaves. All the food is arranged on the altars for the souls to have their feast. The belief dictates that the offered food looses its flavor and nutrients by the next day.

Day of the dead was declared in 2003 as a World’s Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, due to the importance it has on Mexican indigenous communities’ everyday lives regarding the different dimensions and perceptions of death.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week of October 19 – October 25, 2010

Since my horoscope (Gemini, of course) stated this week that I need to recharge my batteries, and get back into my fabulous GEM routine – I thought to myself, well - what better way to do so than by catching up with this week’s NYC staples (film, theatre, fashion, music)?
I feel rejuvenated already – try it

Let us know where you’ve gone or plan on going this month by sharing some
your own GEM NYC finds, or if you’d like to drop us a line please do so at



Freddy Vargas, born in the Dominican Republic and currently living in New York, returned to Santo Domingo to shoot “Hispaniola,” a short-film/docudrama that ambitiously–and successfully–tackles a number of themes relevant to Dominican society today, including racism, relations between Haitians and Dominicans, immigration, and economic challenges in the developing world.

The film depicts two families from drastically different economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. There’s the well-to-do family of a Dominican politician–who live in a beautiful home. Right across the street is a family of Haitian immigrants, who have come to Santo Domingo to work. While they construct the home of a verbally abusive Dominican, they cook and sleep on the worksite and worry constantly about being deported by immigration, as they’re in Santo Domingo without legal work papers.

The families, of course, would never cross paths were it not for the young sons of each group. It’s a tense, explosive 12 minutes, and one
that accurately portrays painful truths about current social problems on the island.

Yet as interesting as the film is (albeit biased), so too is Vargas’s story of making it. Vargas confronted a number of obstacles for such a short film. Following the screening of this film in 2006, there was great opposition from the government for its distribution. This short-film
garnered an entry with the Havana Film Festival in New York City, and won HBO’s Best Short Film Competition Award in 2007 at the New York Latino Film Festival.

Vargas’s goal in making “Hispaniola” was to raise consciousness about identity and race relations in the Dominican Republic, and to advocate social change by inviting conversation about these issues.

You can watch the full version of “Hispaniola” here.


BOOTS: I'm a big ballet flat person and wear them as long as possible into the cold weather without socks. When I finally can't stand cold ankles any longer, I typically turn to ankle boots and tall boots. However, I have also been known to wear socks with flats on occasion.

ome flats are easier to pair with socks than others. For instance, an Oxford flat or menswear-inspired shoe looks great with a sock, and mary jane style flats tend to look great with tights. The trickiest kind of flat to wear with a sock is a ballet flat or similar shoe that shows off a lot of the top of your foot (instep), however, it can be done. The key to pulling off this look is to match your sock color to your shoe color. Black is always the easiest, so a black sock with a black shoe looks fine. Choose a smooth sock (or tights) that won't bunch up.

There is a big trend towards socks this season, as seen with this year’s NY Fashion Week last month, as designers placed many looks down the runways showing off socks with heels,
sandals and ankle boots. GEM has picked out a couple of boot styles for you to start thinking of your current or future : ) boot collection. Fall into style this month with GEM!


SAMPLE SALE: Elie Tahari Fall 2010 Sample Sale

October 19 - October 23 2010
Tues-Fri (8:30am-7:30pm), Sat (10am-5pm)

510 5th Ave.,
New York, NY 212-398-2622

Elie Tahari is hosting their fall 2010 sample sale, offering 70%
- 80% off Women’s, Men’s, Shoes and Handbags!

Below are some GEM deals and steals – I hope you can get to

Women: Leather distressed jacket with exposed zipper detail - originally $1,298, now $279 Cozy fall sweaters and cardigans in lux yarns, originally $198-$398, now $49-$89 Silk printed and wool dresses originally $198 to $448, now $99 to $129 Pencil skirt with lace overlay originally $268 now $59 Dress pants originally $248, now all $59

Suede caged bootie- originally $498, now $99 Leather platform clogs- originally $248, now $99 Leather ballet flat with jewel and metal embellishments- originally $298, now $79

Handbags: Metallic distressed leather tote with chain handle- originally $468, now $249 Clutch with floral and embellishment detail - originally $368, now $179 Oversized leather pleated hobo bag- originally $898, now $249



El Repertorio Español announces the World Premiere of "Habanera," a new dance by legendary Flamenco and Spanish dancer, Pilar Rioja.

"Habanera," with music by Cuban composer and singer Guillermo Portabales is a new Flamenco dance which highlights the creative influences of African
and Caribbean rhythms on Spanish dance.

The premiere will take place during a limited three week engagement, part of Ms. Rioja's 38th season in New York, from October 21st through November 8, 2010 at Repertorio Español's Gramercy Arts Theater located at 138 East 27th Street New York,
NY 10016. Ms. Rioja performs with live music and flamenco singers.

The program will also include some of Ms. Rioja's most popular dances such as the flamenco "Taranto"; the Andalusian "Café de chinitas" and "El vito"; and Boccherini's classic "Grave Assai-Fandango."

TICKETS for PILAR RIOJA begin at $25 and may be reserved online at:; by phone: 212-225-9999; or in person at El Repertorio Español’s Gramercy Arts Theater Box Office located at 138 East 27 Street, New York, NY between Lexington and Third Avenues (Sun-Thurs 10am-7pm | Fri-Sat 10am-9pm).

Get to know Pilar’s famous dance moves by clicking on the video player below:



When Pedro Almodóvar arrived in town in 1988 to show his new film at the New York Film Festival he became an instant sensation. Channeling the burst of energy and freedom in post-Franco Spain, Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios was one of the most unusual and exhilarating new films in years. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and quickly became not just a classic, but a favorite.

Now, Women
On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown is a new musical based on Almodovar’s indie film. Both touching and hilarious, it's a story about women and the men who pursue them... find them, lose them, need them, and reject them. At the center is Pepa, played by Sherie Rene Scott, whose friends and lovers are blazing a trail through 1980s Madrid. And why do they all keep showing up at her high-rise apartment? Gazpacho perhaps?

Along with Pepa, there's her missing lover, Ivan, played by Brian Stokes Mitchell; his ex-wife of questionable sanity, Lucia, played by Patti LuPone; their son Carlos, played by “Idol’s” Justin Guarini; among others. Mayhem and comic madness are a plenty, balanced by the empathy and heart that are trademarks of Almodóvar's work.

Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown is now playing for a limited time at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway – before it moves to its semi-permanent home with Lincoln Center in November,
2010. You may purchase tickets to this limited screening by Telecharge here (last show will play on October 24th, at 8PM EST).



Jennifer Lopez has been keeping a low profile for a while now. Some of that time has been voluntary -- motherhood and running a family are no joke -- and some of it hasn't; her 2007 album Brave was her least successful album, commercially. But with a couple of proven hit-makers behind the boards, Jennifer Lopez is looking to make a comeback with "Good Hit."

Produced by The Dream and Tricky Stewart, "Good Hit," which will likely be featured on Lopez's long-awaited Love album, features a rather different sound… especially since we don't really hear Jennifer Lopez's voice. But she’s lovely nonetheless.

Over a slick dance beat, Jennifer Lopez sings about dropping it low in a voice coated with the much-maligned but incredibly popular vocal filter.

You can listen to a snippet of the "Good Hit" below. What do you think? Is Auto Tune back? Or should it stay locked away somewhere in T-Pain's storage space? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

**Please note that JLo has not released a video for this track as of yet, however our awesomely talented friend 2VegasBaby :) has made a compilation of JLo videos for us to view - with lip-synching to boot!

Listen to a snippet of Jennifer Lopez's "Good Hit" by clicking on the video player below, courtesy of 2VegasBaby.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week of October 12 to October 18, 2010


On the Run with Nike
The new Nike+ GPS App allows runners to use their iPhone to visually map every run while tracking pace, distance, time and calories-burned as well as stay motivated with instant feedback during and after each run from athletes like Paula Radcliffe and Lance Armstrong, and comedian Tracy Morgan!
The app also connects runners around the world or just down the street through, the largest running community in the world with
more than 3 million members. The Nike+ GPS app for iPhone allows runners to:

Run Anywhere: From indoor to outdoor, track to treadmill, this new app combines the power of GPS technology with an accelerometer to map and track a run from anywhere. Even if the GPS signal is not available, the accelerometer will allow the user to continue to track pace, distance, time and calories-burned.

Map Your Runs:
GPS technology allows runners to keep track all of their routes including a breakdown of pace and distance at different points during a run. Runners can even tap the screen during a run to see their current location.
Challenge Yourself: The “Challenge Me” feature allows runners to challenge themselves to run farther, faster, or longer than a previous run already logged. The app will also track run history to be able to personalize challenges.

Stay Connected: Runners can wirelessly connect with after each run to instantly save the run and share it with friends via the site, Twitter, or Facebook. In addition, they can view their progress on goals, participate in running challenges and download coaching programs.

Stay Motivated:
Runners receive motivating messages from top athletes and celebrities when specific customized goals are achieved, challenges
are won, or when a personal best is achieved. Runners can also tap the iPhone screen to receive in-run feedback.

The Nike+ GPS App is available for $1.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch at The Nike+ GPS App is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch although the app will function only through accelometer technology on the iPod touch.



Shop for the Cure: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This October, many brands will inspire shoppers to show their support for breast cancer awareness with this year’s must-have accessory item.

The 2010 Payless Breast Cancer Awareness charm bracelet benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s leading breast cancer advocacy organization. The nation’s largest specialty footwear retailer is proud to once again offer its Embrace the Cause bracelet in all its stores beginning Oct. 1 and online at® starting this week for just $2 – an accessible price that enables more people to get involved and has raised more than $3.6 million since 2004 for the cause.

Payless will donate 100 percent of the net profits (at least $1/bracelet) of bracelet sales to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, helping to support breast cancer research and community outreach programs. Over the past seven years, the Payless Embrace the Cause program has raised more than $3.6 million in the fight against breast cancer and Payless is proud to be a member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s “Million Dollar Council.”

The limited-edition charm bracelet features three elastic pin
k bands embellished with several “floating” silver-toned balls, linked together by a dangling breast cancer awareness ribbon charm. To buy the bracelet, consumers can visit all Payless stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico beginning Oct. 1 or shop beginning this week.

Beginning last week, Payless also began offering the "Sierra" all-pink sweater slipper in select stores in the U.S. and Canada. The Sierra is a scuff-style slipper, co-branded Airwalk and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and features a plush and cozy pink faux fur lining with a cable knit upper also trimmed in faux fur. The slipper is offered in women's and girls' sizing and retails for $19.99 and $17.99, respectively. Payless will donate $2 per pair sold to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2010 facts and figures, an estimated 207,090 cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur in the United States this year alone. One woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes in the United States. For more information on breast health or breast cancer, contact Susan G. Komen for the Cure at 1-877
GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or visit



Norte A Sur

Young American Latinos today are known for being explorers, creators, challengers, tearers-down and builders-up. Like every generation of American youth, they are questioning the “what is” and looking for the “what should be”. For them being a pioneer is a mixture of their culture, style and music. They are influenced by the world’s cultural landscape and authentic distinctions of their own. The question is: Where we can find these modern day Latino pioneers?

This fall, Levi’s invites you to ‘Go Forth’ through the lens of the Norte A Sur, Una Ruta...5 Experiencias show where viewers will get a chance to join five modern day pioneers traveling along the Pan-American Highway to discover more about themselves and their roots. The journey will be broadcasted on Discovery en Español from September 25 through November 27, 2010. Throughout the journey these modern day pioneers will make local stops to engage with the Real Work of communities and explore different cultures through the fields of art, music, design and fashion.

Viewers of Discovery en Español will get the chance to be part of the journey through the online
community at where, among other things, they can see the travelers’ status updates, make their own comments, send pictures and video, and virtually experience the travelers’ journey. Fans can also interact with the travelers through a dedicated Norte A Sur, Una Ruta... 5 Experiencias Facebook page and even share their own visual journey by posting their favorite pictures on the Norte A Sur, Una Ruta... 5 Experiencias Flickr site.


Recently launched, the new PayPal app has some great features that are so helpful in everyday use!

  • Donations: Choose from over 23,000 charities in the U.S., UK and Canada and instantly make a contribution. Don’t know where to start? Search by keyword to find foundations that support your passions, or search by location to direct your funds to a local charity.
  • Send Money: Sending money with the PayPal app is easier than going to the ATM or mailing checks to friends and family you may owe money to, or want to add a little doe to their pockets. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address or mobile number and they will get a message telling them their cash is ready. They can then log in or sign up for a PayPal account to withdraw the money. This is great to use when splitting the check of a meal, a vacation, a present, etc.
  • Split the check: Don’t waste another hour in the restaurant splitting the check down to the very last penny. Conveniently calculate costs and tip with this great function.
  • Collect money: Easily collect money from your friends when you take the brunt of the bill. They will receive a notification telling them what they owe you so you can get your money back in your pocket!
  • Set reminders: In addition to using this feature to manage your PayPal accounts, it is great for recurring payments, like paying rent or paying off those daunting, but necessary, credit card bills.
  • Bump: This one’s really the best of both worlds…fun and effective! Users tap iPhones or Android phones, and funds are quickly transferred between their PayPal accounts with a token “bump” to seal the deal.
  • Mobile Express Checkout: PayPal Mobile Express Checkout (currently in beta) makes it easier people to shop from their phones. Take impulse purchases to the next level and instantly shop online from your mobile device. With Mobile Check Capture, skip the hassle of inputting all of your shipping and credit card info every time the shopping bug strikes. With just a couple of clicks and a confirmation your wants (and needs) are yours!




Its Spa Week again! This year for the 13th edition of
the Fall 2010 Event day, medical and resort spas will continue to offer 2-3 of their most exclusive services for the discounted price of $50 each. Spa Week’s Fall 2010 Event will take place October 11th – 17th.

Without further ado, here are our Top 5 Spa Treatment Trends for the Fall 2010 Event:
  • Fighting Allergies - Sinus massages, breathe-easy facials and cold and flu bath salts are just a few of the spa services being featured this upcoming Spa Week. New treatments using Eucalyptus, humidifiers and Lymph drainage movements are just a few of the techniques being used to assist in allergy relief.
  • Bikini Glamour - Vajazzling made its sparkly splash at the Spring 2010 Event, when bedazzling your bikini became the hot new standard in girly glamour. Bikini/Bum Facials and post-Brazilian waxing rituals such as Airbrush painting and Vattooing are now the latest in bikini adornment.
  • Sleeping and Dreaming - A good night’s slumber with proper REM cycles can be just as rejuvenating as a spa treatment, so one of the hottest trends emerging in the industry is a dream-worthy mix of the two to promote better sleeping patterns. Some of these treatments being offering during the Fall 2010 Event include a Stress Solution Facial, Private Yoga Session and Meditation Calmquest Treatment.
  • Lash Extensions - Eyelash length, thickness, volume and darkness have gone way up on the beauty priority lists of women now more than ever. While new drugstore and professional lash volumizers continue to crowd the lash-enhancing market, the Fall Spa Week event is poised to give women more professional lash-extending options than ever before.
  • Instant Inch Loss - The spa is becoming a go-to place to get almost instant, weight-loss results in addition to providing long term benefits. Colon Hydrotherapy is becoming more popular as a quick, easy cleanse, and new med-spa services like the 7E Treatment and Ionithermie give immediate results by targeting muscles with waveform technology.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week of October 4 to October 11, 2010

This weekend, I thought to myself – Why do I love NYC so much… Is it because it’s the melting pot of the world and you can interact with people of all walks of life? No, it’s not that… Is it because NYC is hip and fashionable? Yes, but not quite the real reason… Well finally, it dawned on me – that I don’t drive, AND yet I never miss a heart beat with this darn city”!

New York City is amazing for its accessibility to everything and
everywhere worth experiencing

Let’s exude our love for the city by trying some of this week’s great GEMs!

Feel free to share some of your own GEM NYC finds, or
if you’d like to drop us a line please do so at



FiDi – also known as the Financial District - is apparently the hip place to catch the VSpot Cafe food truck on the corner of Hanover and Water streets. I noticed it, because a guy out front was handing out samples of (wait for it) VEGAN empanadas. Oh yeah bring on the tofu! Did I also mention that it’s “Latino Vegan food”? It seems that people are into the healthy eating binge lately because there is always a line that goes around the corner to order food from this truck. Or maybe they’re just like me (a hungry Latina suffering from an overkill of greasy burgers), who gets all –to-much excited when she sees the words empanada and rice and beans together. So “why” Vegan? Well, “why not”?! For starters, eating a strict vegetarian or Vegan diet helps stop the torture that millions of animals experience every day. Not to mention, the health benefits of a Vegan lifestyle are impressive for the waist line. Clearly, nobody is saying that we have to stop eating meat completely, but with options like the VSpot Café Truck’s popular empanadas and famous soy “chicken” burrito, you might just think twice about your diet!


Famous TV chef, Lydia Bastianich is launching her very own
“Scuola di Cucina” – in NYC. To my mother’s dismay, my pots look as new as the day I got them from Macy’s – and my stove functions primarily to light my scented candles. So when I heard that Chef Lydia was starting a school in the city, I thought well, this is a GRAND opportunity for those who want to learn to cook Italian food from the best in this industry - sign me up! In addition to being the quintissential Food Channel “chef," independent "restaurateur," and "mother of Joe," – (think Iron Chef), Lidia Bastianich can now add "dean" to her name: that's her official title at La Scuola di Eataly, a new culinary endeavor that the Italian food colossus is launching now in October.

The 24-seat classroom will be used for lessons, lectures, demonstrations, tastings, and dinners; October's classes are largely composed of wine tastings, and establishing the series called “Aperitivo with the Winemaker”. Future classes will feature appearances from the likes of Cesare Casella and Dave Pasternack, as well as agriculturally artisanal producers. Classes will range from $75-$175; more information is available on their academic offerings site: La Scuola di Eataly.



Feed Your Kids the Arts…
The arts are enriched with the stuff kids need to succeed. Just like kids need to have good nutrition on a daily basis, kids need to have their daily serving of the arts. Studies have shown that involvement in the arts helps kids increase test scores and promotes academic achievement. Kids who are involved in the arts are:
  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
Chances are, though, that your kids are not getting enough art—in or out of school. "The Arts. Ask for More." public service advertising (PSA) campaign is designed to educate parents and citizens on why the arts are essential to a child's development and empower them to get more art into kids’ lives, both in and out of school.

Get Involved: Click here for 10 Simple Ways you can get more art into your child’s life. Find an
arts organization or PSA Partner in your area to find out more about the arts and arts education in your community.

Get the facts on why an arts education is so important to your child’s development. If you wish to support the Arts for Education initiative by signing an electronic petition click here.



Join New York City’s Latin Media and Entertainment Commission as they present the first-ever Latin Media and Entertainment Week here, in the capital of the world.

New York City is the media and cultural capital of the world. It’s where the arts
converge with industry, startups, businesses, and much more. New York has also grown to become a major Latin media and entertainment center, where ideas, creativity, innovation, and talent continue to shape our city into one of the most culturally diverse places in the world.

Events range from film, theater, dance, concerts, photography, art, museum exhibits, business
functions, and more. It’s a representation of the diverse and dynamic talent of the Latin communities. Featured participants include organizations such as The Met, El Museo del Barrio, El Repertorio Espanol, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Loisaida Inc. and the Spain Arts Festival. To view and attend any of the participating events click here to download the schedule. Entrance fees range from $0 Free to $20.00.



If you’re looking to spruce up your apartment, and do not know how to – GEM recommends the following tricks to inject new life into your home on a limited budget.

*On the backs of open shelving, paint a color (not white!) to make the items on your shelves pop.

*Always keep a couple of cans of spray paint around. A clean, simple coat of high gloss white (any other color will work as well) can instantly turn an old mirror, pedestal, table, or vase from a garage sale find into the perfect decorator piece.

*Wall-to-wall mirrors may seem like a ’70s design leftover, but adding a little glass opens up the area and reflects light. You can also use small mirrors under your flower centerpieces to cause
continuity of the image reflected.

ruise flea markets and garage sales for bargain mirrors and glass jars. These types of vintage items are always easy to repurpose for various areas of your home. Paying attention to these small details shows that you're designing every nook and cranny. Check out any of these markets in the city for great vintage GEMs for your home…

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market 39th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves - 212-243-5343; Sat, Sun 9am–6pm

Here you’ll find designer clothing, vintage vases and plates, and everything in between. It gets crowded quickly, so come early (by 10am) for a first pass at the vendors’ wares.

GEM find:
An assortment of designer handbags (including Louis Vuitton and Prada) priced as
low as $35, old soul and R&B records from $2 apiece and weathered wooden crates ($40 each).

Antiques Garage 112 W 25th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves - 212-243-5343; Sat, Sun 9am–5pm

This is actually a GARAGE - where 100 vendors can be found on two floors. The upper level is less populated, but offers a wide array of vintage prints, while the lower level is where more of
the vendors (and shoppers) congregate.

GEM find:
Vintage items such as a pristine Optimo cigar canister from 1929 ($50); an assortment of gem-encrusted rings, bracelets and other baubles (ranging from $35 to $85); and a whole section of vintage picture frames, some with old prints included, for $12.

Brooklyn Flea Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene; Sat 10am–5pm OR Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park between Main and Water Sts, Dumbo; Sun 11am–6pm;

The Brooklyn Flea has expanded quickly, with more than 150 vendors, many of whom can be found at both markets. Hit the Fort Greene location for vintage clothing and records, and the
park in Dumbo for upscale furniture and decorative items.

GEM find:
A brass birdcage ($60) which can be used as a light fixture –
by purchasing a ligh kit from any home improvement store – among other great metal objects, mirrors,furniture.

Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Sts - 212-239-3027; Sun 10am–5:30pm

market is a hodgepodge of old and new items; secondhand clothing shares space with discounted beauty goods and handmade jewelry. If you’re looking for furniture, there are at least ten vendors with cool, affordable antiques.

GEM find: There is a vendor called Toaster Central, who sells working vintage toasters for as
little as $45.



Plus Fashion Goes Haute Couture: Saks to Carry Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, McQueen Up to Size 20

Saks Fifth Avenue is testing a placement of “plus sizes” on its high end floor with almost all the big designers participating. According to Racked, this diversification of style will not just include smart suits and evening gowns for the ladies-who-lunch set (though they’ll have plenty to peruse, with extended sizes from Akris, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Donna Karan, St. John, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, Valentino and Michael Kors).

Saks will also be stocking plus-sized pieces by ready-to-wear Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as from Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQuee
n, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli.

We, at GEM, think this is a major leap forward in terms of plus size fashion. As fashion tends to trickle downwards- meaning high end designers (Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana) set the trends and lower-end retailers (Forever21, H&M, Express) copy what the design houses created. So while the collections will be limited (only one of each size – yikes!) and the prices will be high, this test could have far reaching impact on plus size fashion at all levels of the retail chain.



Want to meet people and practice your “personal pitch” with others? Then you’d probably like to try your hand at speed dating. GEM went on a speed date last week, and we’d like to share our experience with you – so that you know what to expect on your own visit : )

When you arrive......................

Your hosts will greet you and sign you in. You get your introduction pack which includes a scorecard, pen, badge, a list of questions to ease you into your dating conversation as well as information about other events. You can then relax at the ba
r and gather your thoughts for half an hour before you get down to the serious business of dating.

Time to start dating.......................

Once everyone has arrived it’s time to take your seats in the designated area at your allocated table. One of the Speed Dating team members will explain a little bit about how the evening is organized and then the fun begins!

When you get the signal to start, copy your date’s name and badge number in the first line of your scorecard and then you can get to find out a little more about the person sitting across from you. The clock is ticking and though it might seem like a long time when you’re there, five minutes passes very quickly. And don’t forget - be sure to allow your date a chance to ask some questions too!

Before long, the timer sounds and the guys have to move to date number 2.

Between dates (NOT during), ensure you circle YES or NO next to the dates you have had to record your brief experience with the person.
Don’t worry guys - you get to meet all of the women at the event and ladies you will get to meet all of the gents (and better yet, you don’t have to move - the men will come to you). If only real life dating were this simple!

forget to mark your scorecard after each date and if both of you mark ‘Yes’ on your card to see each other again, you will get your partner’s details sent to you via e-mail.


Phew! That wasn’t so bad was it? Now you’ve had a chance to meet and find out a little more about 10-30 people you knew nothing about at the start of the evening.

It’s important to check that you’ve filled in the details you need to on your scorecard. After all, you don’t want to miss out on finding that special someone because you forgot to tick the box!

Finding out about your matches.......................

Within 24-36 hours you will know how many matches you have via email. If the people you said "YES" to also “checked” you - then you have a match, or 2 or 3…
With your prior consent, the Speed Dating organizers will pass along your contact details (Name, Tel #, Email Address) to your match(es), and you’ll receive theirs.

If you’d like to try this out, there are two speed dating events occurring this week. See the information below to register:

Latino Singles Speed Dating
Date: Friday, October 08, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Venue: People Lounge, NYC
Location: 163 Allen Street (between Rivington St & Stanton St) , New York, NY 10002
Recommended Ages: Women 21 - 35, Men 23 - 38

Cost: $35.00

Single Professionals Speed Dating
Date: Thursday, October 07, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Venue: Sin Sin's Leopard Lounge

Location: 248 E. Fifth St (at 2nd Ave.), New York, NY 10003

Recommended Ages: Women 33 - 45, Men 35 - 48

Cost: $35.00

Blog Directory blog directory Blog Directory