Monday, December 24, 2007
T’was the night before Christmas and what was I to do?
In New York City, an Upper East Side Jew
Others had hung stockings waiting for Saint Nic
But as a Jew on Christmas, it’s time to see a new flick
Of course there is Chinese, which is a tradition
Even on Christmas they don’t close the kitchen
So to all who celebrate, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
And to those who need activity tomorrow this is what we hear:
Open for Business on Christmas:
Movie Theaters and Show times
Posted by Carrie Gross Pestronk at 6:48 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Some things are just better bigger. And a bed is one of them.
“Move over,” I said to M as I tried to wrestle the covers from under him. “I can’t, I have no where to go. He responded by giving me an extra few centimeters and drifting back off to sleep. On our honeymoon, which seems a lifetime-ago, M and I got used to the sprawling expanse of king-sized beds;, the gigantic fluffy cloud-like cushion of hotel bedding and the enormous pillows which stretched like a bridge over the entire bed. In our cramped Queen, we toss and turn and battle Gladiator style for remnants of covers.
“You know. I think it is time to upgrade.” I make mention of my plan as M pours himself a bowl of Special K. “I think we should get a new bed. A big one. A giant one. One with all new down bedding and those egg-crate things and a brand new mattress.” He nodded with his mouth full, “Ok, you do the research and this weekend we will go and buy one.”
The last time I purchased a bed was after college. I was going from a futon to a full-sized mattress, my “Princess and the pea” sleeping habits had not yet taken hold. I could have slept on a linoleum floor littered with beer cans and been comfortable. Back then, I called 1-800-Mattres (left off the last S for savings) and asked for the cheapest full-size bed to be delivered the next day. I didn’t test it out. I didn’t research it. I just bought it. It worked out fine.
I never realized how many Sleepy’s there are on the Upper East Side. Until now, I passed by the storefronts never even giving pause to look in. It seems, Sleepy’s are the new Starbucks – within a 3-block radius of our apartment, there are 4 Sleepy’s with two directly across the street from one another (58th and 3rd Ave.). Just how many people need a new mattress that often that it would necessitate that many Sleepy’s? Starbucks, I can kinda understand since I buy in bulk multiple times a day, but mattresses? In my 30 plus years on this planet, I have owned 3 – bought 1, including my twin-size Barbie bed.
I started my hunt at Bloomingdales. It seemed the easiest place to start since it was the most familiar. I darted from bed to bed, lying on each testing the firmness and comfort, closing my eyes and envisioning myself wrapped in a warm cozy blanket on a cold night, M next to me asleep and Chief on the floor. “So, what kind of bed are we looking for?” We? We aren’t looking for a bed. You and I are not looking for a bed. I am looking for a bed. I opened my eyes to find a mattress salesman lingering over me which was sort of creepy. “Do you like this one,” he asked as his hideous tie which could only belong to a used car salesman or a mattress salesman dangled inches from my nose. “This is the Cadillac of mattresses, one of the best ones we have.”
I slid down to the bottom and checked out the price. $27,000!! “Are you sure it doesn’t come WITH A CADILLAC?” I said in the throes of sticker shock. He began to ramble off stats and research figures in attempt to justify the cost adding that the mattress is 50% off. Newsflash: Mattresses are ALWAYS on sale. I don't even think it is possible to purchase a mattress that is list price and anyone who does should have their head examined. “I’m looking for a mattress in the price range of a used 10 year-old Volkswagen Jetta, what do you have in that range?”
I moved on to Sleepy’s at 61st and 1st. Singing the 1-800 MATTRES song in my head, I recalled the Sleepy’s ads too – their guarantee to beat anyone’s price. The salesman there gave me a tour of the store, pointing out the different features of each bed: individually wrapped coils, Tempurpedic, cushion-top, pillow-top. “We have Sealy, Stearns and Foster, Serta – those are our two biggest sellers.” I read off the style names that I wrote down from my trip to Bloomies, but of course, those styles are ONLY sold at Bloomingdales, which makes the price-beating guarantee useless since the manufacturer just renames the same bed, and sells it as an exclusive to different retailers.
Frustrated and overwhelmed by the amount of information and beds which are available, I returned with M a few days later. “I don’t care about the bells and whistles. No adjustable bed or Sleep Number shit, none of that forklift bed stuff for old people with the remote control. Everything which I read online says that a bed is a bed is a bed. None of that hoopla matters so don’t get sucked in. Let’s just lie on a few and decide which feels best.” M concurred and we hopped from bed to bed while the salesman looked on.
“Too much cushion.”
Literally, I rolled around the store like it was Gymboree. The store was pretty empty, which again made me question the need for all of the mattress retailers in this city. Who were all these bed-less souls that so desperately required a mattress store on every corner. There didn’t seem to be any there that day with us which suited us just fine. “Come try this one,” M yelled from a bed in the front of the store. I did an airborne dive on to the bed as M rolled out of my landing path and the salesman shook his head in horror. “What? I think it’s important to see how a bed handles a little pounding.” That came out all wrong, but the salesperson got a good chuckle.
“This is good,” I said leaning back into the pillow.
“This IS very good,” M agreed as he almost fell off to sleep.
I scooted down towards the price tag and read the number back to M. “Not bad,” he said. “I guess we aren’t getting the Lamborghini of mattresses.”
“In all honesty, it could be made of cement and razor blades. As long as it is a King Size bed and I can have my own area, it works for me.”
And it does. Perfectly. I get a $27,000 night sleep for less than 10% of the cost. Now that is what I call a bargain. I am just about ready to cut the tag off the bed, but don't tell the police because it is punishable by law.
For more information on how to buy a mattress, click here.
And for retail locations on the Upper East Side to purchase a mattress, please click here:
Posted by Carrie Gross Pestronk at 10:47 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Could it be? Yes, it is! Did the Upper East Side finally get a piece of the downtown flavor? Nestled between the buns, between Madison and Fifth Avenue on 58th Street (slightly south of the UES), Pop Burger just made its debut.
This uber-hip burger joint also doubles as a late night lounge and trendy haunt to see and be seen. Its downtown twin has long been a staple of hipsters, drawing crowds from the nearby nightclubs and bars of the Meatpacking District – the answer to midnight hunger and a prevention tool for early morning hangovers.
But now this Mecca of meat has been drawn uptown to feed the hungry masses of midtown office workers and fuel the late-night cravings of the trendy few who live above 57th Street. Pop Burger’s three-story layout is spacious and mod – the first floor offers the burger joint approach with walk-up counter to order, but beyond that, a DJ booth and cooler-than-thou aura help to define the space as a place to linger rather than just scarf down a burger and fries. How ‘bout a bottle of Grey Goose with those sliders?
Rain, nor sleet nor snow will keep some Upper East Siders from traveling far this holiday season to the nether regions of downtown for some nightlife. But, as the temperature drops and cabs are scarce, it gives me a warm and fuzzy holiday feeling to know that good burgers and a cool vibe are walking distance away.
Posted by Carrie Gross Pestronk at 8:54 AM