Friday, October 31, 2008

Cheap Chick Bargain Bulletin-Cheap Chick Halloween Pick!

If you're still looking for something to do on Halloween that doesn't have a scary price tag, then check out this "bewitching" event…if you dare. Tonight Trinity Church is hosting a FREE Halloween celebration that includes a happy hour (6-8 p.m.) where you can imbibe a "Haunted Hamilton" in the church's centuries-old graveyard. Maybe you'll meet your "soul"mate here, but I would check for pointy teeth before the sun sets! At 8 p.m. the church is screening the 1920 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore, complete with the original organ music. The Cheap Chick will definitely be at this great New York City-centric event (see if you can spot her among the costumed revelers) that won't come back to haunt your wallet!

Cheap Chick Info: Free!
Location Info: Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street
Subway Info: 4, 5 to Wall Street, 1, R, W to Rector Street, J, M, Z to Broad Street

Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple Pleasures, or a Central Park Picnic

According to the song "the best things in life are free" and I'm inclined to agree especially after a Sunday picnic in Central Park. Despite the chill in the air our group found a nice patch of sunshine in Sheep's Meadow where we could relax. I think one of the great things about the park is that it allows us to regress from our grown-up lives for awhile, even if just for a minute. Our poison was hula hoops, with some intrepid souls balancing more than one on arms and legs…and some places you don't want to think about. I saw others in the park playing touch football and throwing Frisbees. Our picnic was 21st century adult, with hummus, crackers, and cheese, but our music was pure 20th century childhood, including a sing-a-long to a ukulele rendition of the Muppet classic, "Rainbow Connection" (some people stared, but you know they wanted to sing along with us.) Despite my assertion above, this wasn't a totally free event (it was cheap tho!) since we all contributed to a potluck lunch, but as we relaxed on blankets and watched children running relay races, games of catch, and couples reading the New York Times as the sun set behind the Time Warner Center, it was definitely worth the cost of a bag of carrots.

I encourage my Cheap Chick followers to take advantage of all the diversions Central Park has to offer while the weather is still sunny (I know, not for long!). Take some snacks, a blanket, and a good book and lose yourself in a story among the trees, browse at the Strand Annex Store near the Fifth Avenue entrance, picnic with friends, take a boat ride, hike or bike the trails, and visit some of the iconic landmarks such as the carousel, the zoo, the Delacorte Clock, Belvedere Castle, and Strawberry Fields-and if you haven't heard of these sites, then get thee to Wikipedia!

Here are links to some interesting upcoming (free!) events in and around the park:

Pumpkin Festival
Saturday October 26th, 2008 (tomorrow)

The Chanel Mobile Art Exhibit (all-day, free, ticketed event)
October 20, 2008 - November 09, 2008
Rumsey Playfield
Check out art inspired by Chanel's iconic quilted bag.

The New York City Marathon
November 2nd, 2008
11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Watch runners from around the world compete in this NYC tradition.

Editor's Note

Hey Cheap Chick followers, sorry I havn't posted the blog lately! I have tons of ideas for future posts, so keep checking back for upcoming entries!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

FIT for Free!

Chanel and coffins seem an unlikely combination, but on a recent rainy Saturday my friend and I saw both (for free!) at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (or FIT- There were two exhibits, "Arbiters of Style Women at the Forefront of Fashion" (until November 8, 2008) and the recently opened "Gothic Dark Glamour" (until February 21, 2009) borrowing from the museum's collection of 50,000 garments and 4,000 pairs of shoes.

The worlds of Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Diane von Furstenberg, and others were displayed in the Arbiters of Style exhibit, but the fashions of other lesser-known creators such as Ann and May Shogren, eighteenth-century designers who traveled from Portland, Oregon, to Paris and New York for designs and fabrics, were also presented. I particularly liked a red silk dress from 1715, designed by Ann a Maria Garthwaite, the only woman known to have worked in Spitalfield's, the London-based silk weaving center. I also enjoyed an 1840's evening dress covered in cherries, a gray net lace French evening dress from 1949 by Lucille Man, and a fabulous red and gold Rive Gauche dress by Yves St. Laurent. One of the more modern looks I coveted was a copper-colored Diane von Furstenberg dress from her fall 2008 collection.

After leaving the muted elegance of the women's fashion exhibit behind, we headed downstairs to enter the fashion underworld of the Gothic fashion exhibit. Out of the darkness skeletons leered at us from fabrics, while above us a moon glowed in between shadowy clouds. Coffins were used as accessories and one of the walls faded magically away to reveal mannequins. Mannequins were also placed between castle ruins or were trapped behind mesh cages, so the whole effect was rather that of a surreal dance club where no one moved. Most of it wasn't really my style, leather and studs isn't my thing, but it was interesting to look at. My favorite outfit was a dress shredded through with shades of purples, blues, and lavenders done by Gattinoni for the fall 1997 collection. I think my friend summed the Gothic exhibit up best when she said, "Some of it's beautiful, some of it's scary."

Source: Museum at FIT

Cheap Chick Info: Free!
Location Info: Seventh Avenue at 27th Street.
Subway Info: 1, 9, N, R to 28th Street or the C, E, F, V to 23rd Street.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cheap Chick Bargain Bulletin-Open House New York (October 4-5, 2008)!

Open House New York is like the Holy Grail of cheapness, at least in the New York City area. It's a once-a-year happening (info here: held in the fall, where the doors of interesting and unusual architectural and historic spaces are literally open to the public for FREE all weekend. Spaces include houses of worship, office buildings, restaurants, bakeries, gardens, stores, theaters, hotels, galleries, museums and historic sites, and even cemetaries. Previously I've visited the Chrysler Building, Temple Emanu-El, Roosevelt Island, Gracie Mansion, the Rockefeller Center Gardens, and the Teddy Roosevelt birthplace (yup, in case you didn't know he was born right here in New York City.) Talks and tours aren't the only highlight of the weekend; there are trolley rides, glass blowing demonstrations, and even theatrical and dance-related performances. This is a chance for city-dwellers to discover hidden New York and save a buck or two while doing it-many of the venues regularly charge admission and tour fees.
Location info: All over NYC!