Posts Tagged 'soho'

A Dean and Deluca Kind of Birthday

I used to hate birthdays, but now that I’ve started to acknowledge them a day to eat everything, I think I like them now. I went to bed at 2 AM disappointed because no one wished me a happy birthday, but when I woke up the next morning, I had dozens of missed calls, voicemails, text messages, and Facebook alerts. I went to bed thinking the day would suck, but woke up thinking it was promising.

I started off the day with homemade scrambled scallion and asiago eggs, turkey bacon, orange juice, and a Starbucks coffee. (I don’t really like bacon, but I figured it’d be nice to have with eggs.) I opened all of the windows so there was a beautiful breeze flowing through the apartment. The air in the apartment is usually thick, but the mix of the fresh air from outside and the smells from breakfast lingered for hours. It felt like a refreshing summer day in the suburbs.

I made my way down to Dean and Deluca in Soho to pick up a macaron and an iced coffee. I’ve been dying to try their coffee, but I don’t know how to make my own coffee, so I never bought it to avoid putting my own sugar in. I figured today was the day to try it. I just bought a coffee macaron from the bakery area and I glanced up at the menu – iced mocha, iced this, iced that, Strawberry Italian Soda. It has been years since I’ve had Italian soda, but it so delicious that I instantly ordered one. I turned around and my friend surprised me with a red velvet birthday cake.

Of course I picked Cafetasia for my birthday dinner. It is my favorite Thai restaurant and one of my favorite restaurants of all time. The food is always delicious. The service is always fast and excellent. The atmosphere is trendy and awesome. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change anything about Cafetasia.

We ordered Mango Batita drinks, which were described as a mango and pineapple drink. I expected them to be yellow, or even orange, but they came out green. Weird. (On second thought, it is green because it is mixed with blue liquor.) They didn’t taste too strong, but half way through the drink, I was drunk. I quickly drank the rest as I saw the appetizers coming over, so I turned into drunken eating mode and just devoured it all. It was the best food at Cafetasia that I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was because the chef was especially amazing that night or because everything tastes better when drunk. Leaning towards the latter, but I devoured BBQ beef skewers, chicken satay and toast, gyoza, extra spicy chicken basil udon, and then some of my friend’s pad thai.

We didn’t eat the cake until later that night, but it took us two minutes from start to finish. It was the most dense and delicious cake I have ever had. It was such a rich and dark red velvet. I seriously wonder what Dean and Deluca can’t do. When it comes to food, especially bakery treats, they are truly the best of the best.

I laid down for a bit to recover from dinner and the cake and then made hard lemonade with Belvedere. Turned on Iron Man, and passed out somewhere within the next hour. I didn’t expect my ship to sink that quickly, but it was the perfect end to my birthday.


Fall Sample Sale at Club Monaco

Club Monaco is hosting their fall 1 and 2 sample sale this week. It is pretty much a mix of last stock’s clothes, new clothes that never made it to production line, clothes that were made in multiple colors and some colors didn’t make it to the floor, and then new and crazy items. (There were a few clothes with baby pins down the sleeves – either that was the style, or tailor marks, but either way it was just weird.) They are hosting it at the Club Monaco corporate suite, 601 West 26th Street, #800, between 11th and 12th Avenue. It is in Siberia and it did take me about thirty minutes to get there, but it is worth it.

I started to realize that it was an event when a dozen or so people got off at the same spot I did on the bus and walked in the same direction. If you know Manhattan, then you’d know that all of six people are ever west of 9th Avenue. And here was about twenty people walking on 11th to the same building. The lines were forming outside of the door, going down the hall, and God knows where else. I couldn’t see the end of the line. I walked up to the security guard and simply said, “I’m a Club Monaco employee.” “I got you.” And he let me in. I was shocked there was no verification, but I am not complaining.

The room was pretty large and clothes were thrown around all over the place. I was a bit hesitant at first, but then I realized that I just had to dig in. I’m swimming around in these clothes, trying to find any size that could fit me. I dug through the same pile at fifteen times, each time finding some new and that I didn’t see before. It was as if someone was below the table and throwing up gems at me.

I ended up spending $75 on clothes. Some ladies were racking up receipts of over $200. Most of the room was dedicated to women, but I could only imagine how much that would retail. Here’s my breakdown of retail:

  • $15 for pants: I bought one pair that was unmarked, but it was a lightweight chino, so it would sell for about $70 or more. ($55 savings)
  • $15 for pants: I bought another unmarked pair, but this one was more formal, so I’d say that it would retail at $90 or above. I really think over $100, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. ($75 savings, $130 total)
  • $10 for a shirt: I’ve been eyeing this shirt in the store for a while. It was originally $100, but it was on sale for $70. I wanted it, but didn’t feel like spending that much for a white shirt that was a size too large. This shirt was my size and only $10. ($90 savings, $220 total)
  • $10 for another shirt: I thought I had already bought this shirt, but I don’t think so. Either way, I couldn’t turn it down for $10. It must retail for at least $60. ($50 savings, $270 total)
  • $10 for shorts: Black shorts. Nothing more can be said. Retails at $60. ($50 savings, $320 total)
  • $10 for shorts: Another pair of black shorts. Can one own enough black shorts? That’s a rhetorical no. Retails again at $60. ($50 savings, $370 total)
  • $5 for a tie: It is a black tie with a Club Monaco club on it. Is there a more perfect tie for me? Another rhetorical no. Retails at $70. ($65 savings, $435 total)
If I bought all of this full price, then I would have spent $510. I spent $75 and saved $435. It was a bit of a struggle fighting off the Asians (it helps being triple their height and size), but it was well worth it.

Clubbed at Club Monaco

Clubbing is a term used for both baby seals and the act of clubbing in (or out) of Club Monaco. You are required to “club in” at work by telling them what you are wearing that is club. At the end of your shift, you have to “club out” and sign off on the Club Sheet, which they do a check to see if any Club Monaco clothes have been added, or taken off. It’s a simple theft prevention measure.

Club Monaco changes stock every four weeks. New items are released, older items are placed in sale, and then sale items are removed and either transferred out or rot away in the stock room. Employees are given two days, the first paycheck after the stock change, to purchase new items and sale items. The employee discount is increased for the event and employees are expected to buy the store out.

I went to the Club Monaco flagship on Fifth Avenue on Thursday to start my spending. They are known for their huge mens sale section so I figured I’d hit them up first. I grabbed about thirty items, so every sales associate was up my ass in efforts to snag my sale. (“Hey! I’m Minn Let me know if-” “I know your name is Minn. You’ve already said it three times.”) I tried them on, loved them. Brought them all to the register.

“It is the employee sale today, right?” “Yes. Are you corporate?” “Uh, no. I work at Prince.” She calls and confirms that I work there and then processes my order. The total before discount: $550. After discount: $150. I take my bag and head to my store to grab some deals that I saw earlier in the week. Went downstairs into the stock room and scoured whatever was left for anything that looked decent. Most of which were from two flips ago, so they were even cheaper than the current sale items. My total before discount: $180. After discount: $40. I grabbed ten items for $190 – an average of $19 a piece. Two of the sweaters alone are $200 at retail. I spent $190 on $740 worth of clothes.

I can’t wait to do this again next month!

Dean and Deluca on Prince Street

And then there is Dean and Deluca, located just a few blocks away from Club Monaco on Prince Street. It is a speciality, high-end gourmet grocery store. Most avoid the store because it is ridiculously overpriced, which most of it is, but there are a few gems in there that are both heavenly and cheap.

I normally just either buy fruit (a banana will never cost more than 50 cents!) or a fresh demi-baguette from Balthazar (Dean and Deluca sells them!) for 2 dollars. It’s quick and delicious. Their bakery items are a little more expensive – $2 for a cookie and $28 for a pound of fancier cookies – but it isn’t like I need a huge cookie, let alone a pound of them. So I just order one coffee macaron for $2. I’ve had a few other macarons, but the others do not compare! I wouldn’t say that they are the best in New York, but they taste great. I came here after work as a reward for reaching my sales goal, but I think I’ll a habit out of it.

Club Monaco

Some refer to it as the black and white store. Some refer to it as Club Monaco. And most don’t even know what it is. Club Monaco is a subsidiary of Ralph Lauren, but it takes its own less-preppy spin on high end clothing. It is most notably known for its black and white collections with little injections of color. It is more formal in the fall and winter, but relaxed and cool in the spring and summer. It is popular among city dwellers and black clothing lovers – like me.

Last week, as I was buying a pair of black chinos, I went out on a limb and asked if they were hiring. She promptly replied yes and handed me an application. I filled it out, spoke to the manager, and two days later, I was offered the position. I don’t need the job. I don’t want the job. I just want the discounts. So I made it clear that I want a part time gig – 2-3 days a week, preferably two – and they happily complied.

I figure it will be another fun adventure. I am excited to meet new people, reap the employee discounts and benefits, and have some extra cash. I created a new category for Club Monaco because I think I’ll be reporting on it often.