HELMUT LANG Moves Into Former Theory Space on Columbus Ave

In time for Fashion’s Night Out, HELMUT LANG has moved into the space formerly occupied by Theory, which moved down a block to the corner of 69th street and Columbus Avenue.

HELMUT LANG — Columbus Avenue between 70th and 71st — joins several other Fashion labels in my five blocks including:

Rag & Bone Columbus Ave

Burberry Brit: 160 Columbus Avenue (between 67th and 68th streets)
UGG Australia: 160 Columbus Avenue (between 67th and 68th streets)
Rag & Bone: 182 Columbus Avenue (between 68th and 69th streets)
Comptoir des Cotonniers: 184 Columbus Avenue (between 68th and 69th Streets)
Reiss London: 76 West 69th St
Theory: 201 Columbus Ave (Corner of 69th street)
Paige Denim: 245 Columbus Avenue (between 71st and 72nd streets)

REISS LONDON

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Fashion’s Night Out at Magnolia Bakery Upper West Side

Fashion's Night Out Cupcakes - $3.75 each

My five blocks is bustling as Fashion’s Night Out approaches tonight. In case you’re hungry along the shopping route or just want a fun (short-term) memento, stop by Magnolia Bakery for specially decorated cupcakes showcasing shoes, bags, dresses and hats. Plus, for each Fashion’s Night Out cupcake purchased ($3.75 each), Magnolia will donate 50 cents to the NYC Aids Fund in The Community Trust.


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The Perfect Mini Cupcake at Magnolia Bakery

Mini Cupcake - vanilla cake with pink and white vanilla buttercream frosting

Mini cupcakes are my favorite size cupcake at Magnolia Bakery…just the perfect amount; however, they are only available via special order. You can order them with chocolate or vanilla buttercream in your choice of Magnolia’s own pastel colors and hand colored sprinkles. The minimum order is 12. So next time you’re having a party or just want to stash a few small treats at home, try the minis.

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Magnolia Bakery’s New Peanut Butter Cupcake

Peanut Butter Cupcakes - $3.50 each

Peanut Butter seems to be the rage around my five blocks in September…must be in honor of Back-to-School season. As an example, Magnolia Bakery has designated September Peanut Butter Month. In addition to its traditional Peanut Butter Ice Box Pie, Peanut Butter Bar, Peanut Butter Cookie and Peanut Butter Toffee Bar, Magnolia has added a few NEW peanut butter items that I’m sure every kid (and adult) would like added to their lunch boxes.


1. Peanut Butter Cupcake — Peanut Butter Cake with Jelly filling and Peanut Butter Buttercream frosting. It’s delicious!!! The frosting is my favorite part.

2. P&B&J Sandwich: Layers of peanut butter buttercream and grape jelly sandwiched between 2 slices of rich peanut butter loaf cake.

3. Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie – filled with chocolate chunks and topped with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate.

Let me know what you think.

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Post-Irene Local Stores Begin to Open on Upper West Side

As evidenced by the crowded streets right now, New Yorkers in my five blocks of the Upper West Side were eager to get back outside. Although many restaurants and stores are still closed, several have opened already and more are gearing up. Here’s a quick list of a few:

The Muffin Cafe
Fiorello’s – the line is out the door!
La Traviatta Pizza
Bin 71
GNC
Red Velvet Bakery
Haagen Daz
Aroma Espresso Bar
Empire Columbus Ave
Big Nick’s
City Pie
Food Emporium
Subway
An’s Beauty — in case you’re in need of a manicure, pedicure or massage

Note that all the Starbucks in the neighborhood are closed til Monday, August 28th.

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Bed, Bath and Beyond Store Near Lincoln Center: Doormen Greet Customers With A Smile

Among the many retail stores overcrowded with New Yorker’s preparing for Hurricane Irene was Bed, Bath and Beyond on Broadway between 64th and 65th st in my five blocks. It’s easy to walk by this store and mistake it for an apartment building due to the entrance “lobby” with doormen, and since the actual store is located on two massive levels underground.

Doorman John at Bed, Bath and Beyond

I pass this Bed, Bath and Beyond almost every day. And even when I’m not shopping there, I’m greeted with a smile and hello from doorman John. He is probably one of the friendliest doormen in all of Manhattan welcoming shoppers as he holds the door open, helping with bags and wishing passers-by a good day. He could put a smile on anyone’s face, even the most stressed New Yorker on the way home from a long day.

During the hurricane preparations, he maintained his positive attitude with a smile as big as ever. A real New York City community story!

Check out Bed, Bath and Beyond for the shopping too. This store sells everything you can think of (and more) for your home and houses a Harmon drug store with great selection and prices. And, it stays open until 10pm.

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Pinkberry Adds Peanut Butter As New Seasonal Frozen Yogurt Flavor

Pinkberry: 2041 Broadway between 70th and 71st

Pinkberry recently launched Peanut Butter as the new seasonal flavor. It is being promoted as PB+J with a recommendation to order it topped with organic strawberry jam and toasted breadcrumbs.

I tried it without toppings and thought it was delicious and extremely creamy. The one downside is it tastes very salty, so I was not surprised to learn that it has 150 mg of sodium per serving versus most of the other flavors which have 45 mg (except chocolate which has 110 mg). The Peanut Butter flavor also has the highest calorie count with 170 calories for a 1/2 cup (100g), but much of that increase comes from the fact that it contains real peanut butter. It also has the highest amount of fat and protein — again due to the peanut butter. Check out the Pinkberry website for more details on the nutritional information of all the flavors. The Peanut Butter ingredients are as follows:

Nonfat milk, sugar, peanut butter (peanuts, sugar, peanut oil, salt), cultured pasteurized nonfat milk with live and active cultures, contains less than 2%: cultured nonfat milk powder, fructose, dextrose, natural flavors, citric acid, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, starch.

Overall, Peanut Butter is a great addition to the line-up. And with the popularity of PB+J among Americans of all ages, it’s sure to be a success. Perhaps it will be converted to a permanent flavor? What do you think?

The closest locations to my five blocks are 2041 Broadway, between 70th and 71st st. and 313 Columbus Ave between 74th and 75th st.

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