A Cross-Country Trek for Love: Scott Gralnick Takes Dating Way Outside the Box

Books Causes Dating Exploits Talent Technology Travel

By Marcy Clark, with additional reporting by Lauren Garroni

Can you think of the last time you did something romantic for the one you loved? That long huh? In the age of Facebook, Skype, texting, and Match.com it has never been easier to have a relationship, but with all these digital interventions something has been lost in translation. A virtual teddy bear gifted via Facebook doesn’t hold the same romantic weight as its analogue counterpart. Scott Gralnick, author of How to Get a Girl in a 1995 Corolla, has taken note of culture’s shifting romantic priorities. When Gralnick wrote the book How to Get a Girl…, a reference to his ability to pick up women despite his lackluster vehicle, two years ago he was single and on the prowl. He parlayed his talent with the fairer sex into a guidebook that taught men how to meet women in a tactful yet creative way. But today Gralnick is a changed man, he’s found what we’re all searching for – Love. There is one caveat, because of his charm book past she isn’t sure if she should date him…that and she lives across the country. What is a determined boy in love to do? Walk across the country to prove his love – of course. This is Dating Outside The Box.

Women’s Mafia: What qualities does this woman have that she has bewitched you soo that you are going to walk across the country to win her?
Scott Gralnick: Her compassion for the human race and wanting to help others. The love for her family. She has taken a step back from life and has learned a lot and keeps learning. She has a smile that can bring peace to anyone. Truth is her ally. She drives me to be a better person. I can get lost in her eyes. After I talk to her I have a feeling of fullness, but the fullness I feel is the essence she is. (I could go on for ever)

WM: Where did you get the idea for your trans-continental marathon stroll? Do you know of anyone who has attempted this mission and lived to tell the tale?

SG: My idea lies deep within my soul. I may not be the wealthiest man, but I am the most resourceful you’ll meet! If I cant fly there, id drive, if I cant drive Id bus, but i think most or any man can take those transportation to one they dream of. I want to show that We can over come anything, I am willing to put my soul and mind and all I am to get to her. The idea came to me with conviction and I knew I had to do it, wether or not I win her over I have to get the “WHAT IF” out of my head.. SEIZE THE DAY, well, this is my day and soon ours, I hope!  At the same time I want to show everyone who will joint DOTB.tv that some times no matter what you have to take that leep and not fear.. Dating outside the box, Living outside the box and most of all live with passion outside the box!

I don’t know anyone who has done what I am going to do. But I look forward to bring out the hopeless romantics in the world and showing them not to be afraid.

WM: “Dating Outside the Box” is a mission, a slogan and a way of life for you, are you hoping to inspire others with your quest to go all out for love?

SG: Outside The Box is a world of its own, and yes, if this action brings about a whirl of love and thought of loving actions for good, then Dating Outside The Box has done good. I am merely a man, a man who is filled with much compassion, which I need to let out. And for the first time someone has hit a deep inner core with me and in that moment I knew I had to walk and share with the world, DATING OUTSIDE THE BOX and what we stand for.

WM: How can adventurous people, without your impressive stamina and free schedule, break out of normal, boring dating box? Will your new business plan help them in a meaningful way? What’s different about DOTB.TV?

SG: DOTB.TV will bring about world peace one date at a time. People who hate the initial time if investment into online dating will love our site and mobile app. We bring online dating offline for real human interaction. I don’t want to get into all the boring tech talk but through us you’ll get a date quick and have tons of fun doing it. Continue reading

TALENT Q&A: Karen Amster-Young, co-founder of The52Weeks.com

Exploits Food Performing Arts Shopping & Acquisitions Talent Technology Travel

By Carlos Aparicio

Our good friend and fellow Public Relations pro Karen Amster-Young has teamed up with educator Pam Godwin on an exciting journey leaving their comfort zones and exploring new things, facing fears and trying to get unstuck. They are also exploring new sides of the city they have known and lived in for so long.

Their fun experiences are recounted on their blog, The 52 Weeks. Keeping their audience entertained with witty, amusing and sometimes just genuine stories, the concept behind the blog is the importance of switching things up and putting yourself in new situations as a way of growth and learning, or simply to keep that “spark” alive in your life, the type of rush you get by trying interesting, recreational and sometimes ridiculous activities. Sometimes they just face fears or try to take even a baby step toward a bigger goal. They do this by setting weekly goals for themselves for one year; the goals being things they have never tried before or that are unusual, and they range from test driving sports cars to simply nurturing their relationships by taking a carriage ride in Central Park, for example.

WM: What’s the story behind the concept of the site?

KAY: Pam and I were out having drinks one night and talking about feeling a bit “stuck”.  We wanted to shake things up a bit and do new things, rediscover childhood passions or face fears.  So the52weeks.com was conceived that night. In fact, our tag line is three drinks, two friends, one year!
WM: What has been the most challenging experience so far in the list of The 52 Weeks activities?

KAY: It is not so much what we are doing but rather sticking to our promise to ourselves and each other to take even a little step each week towards one of our goals or things on our respective lists.   I have done everything from trying boxing, cleaning up my local park, taking a nude drawing class and committing to eating blueberries more often!  
WM: What plans do you have for the future of The 52 Weeks as a growing project?

KAY: The feedback from our readers and even the media has been encouraging and it seems like we are resonating with a lot of people — particularly women. Everyone has a “list” of things they want to do or change and we are inspiring and motivating people to get moving again and hopefully helping them to get a bit “unstuck”.   There is a book in progress, speaking engagements and hopefully a lot of inspiration to help others face their fears, learn new things and just get going again.

WM: Can your readers make suggestions of things to try out?
KAY: Absolutely!  They can e-mail us via the blog.

WM: Any exclusive sneak peek about future adventures for Women’s Mafia readers?

KAY: We knew this was going to be challenging but we had no idea how challenging!  Life gets in the way sometimes of our weekly plans but we are forging ahead and are about half-way through our journey.  I think the most exciting thing for Women’s Mafia readers are our dreams about the possibilities including currently developing the concept for a 52weeks app for iPhones so that users can find local deals and ideas to try new things in their own city.  In terms of our own adventures? Who knows what to tell you! It’s just really about always trying and keeping our promise to ourselves and each other!

Fashion Writer Down

Design Exploits Fashion Fashion Week Travel

By Alex Geana, Photographer & Writer

Hell is being trapped in a luxury hotel room unable to do more then call room service for porridge and chicken soup. Finally the house doctor came — Sunday morning — sporting a salmon Ralph Lauren sweater, and pronounced that I had strep throat. This childhood aliment that normally has little to do with the adult world floored me. I’m of hearty stock and have plowed through many a minor discomfort, but at one point in my current delirium I almost forgot it was Fashion Week.

While watching Haider Ackermann’s powerful show, all I could fixate on was the hair extensions – like katanas, they sliced their way down the models’ backs. Can I reach out, steal one, and perform hara-kiri in the marble bathtub? Is that possible? I’m already a fashion victim; let’s take it one step further.

Right next door was Tsumori Chisato. I had my head in my lap. Finally the lights dimmed and all my energy went into noticing the bubbly pop prints of childish tigers and dreamy elephants blend with sequins and sailor hats. Don’t even try and convince me she didn’t get inspiration from the musical 42nd Street and hallucinogenic drugs. I stumbled out to my room and Angelina stared blankly at me, wondering if I’d contracted a parasite from the salami I kept in the mini-bar.

Continue reading

Paris Is A Lot Like New York, Only Fancier (PHOTOS)

Design Exploits Fashion Fashion Week Street Style Travel

By Alex Geana, Photographer & Huffington Post Contributor

There are gold statues everywhere.

*Scroll down for more photos*

In Paris they take fashion seriously and it shows. I’m also fascinated at how laid-back they are; but that has nothing to do with how they look. Once you have an invitation in hand, the velvet rope parts and I get to see a very focused audience. In this city, it’s all about the big names; getting a decent turn-out for an emerging designer is really hard, at least in the presentations that I’ve seen. Continue reading

Crashing Paris Fashion Week with Alex Geana

Design Events Fashion Fashion Week Featured Travel

By Alex Geana, Photographer & Writer

On the spur of the moment a trip was booked. Traveling with my friend Angelina, her Birkin Bag, GPS, wit, and a love for fashion, I’m now in Paris covering Fashion Week. I’m curious to see how I’m received at the last minute, what fashion and its people are like in the center of the style universe.

I’m writing this post in the Place Vendome, sitting on top of a parking garage. Where the cars enter and leave, I’m not sure – it’s one of the many mysteries of Paris I’m trying to unravel. In front of me is Chanel. Coco herself used to work there and live in the Ritz, conveniently located across the square. Although jewelry is now sold at the boutique, the main offices are just behind the hotel. There are small signs that say Valentino, Comme des Garcon – brass plaques that carry a century’s weight. Although landing in the City of Light, typing on Karl Lagerfled’s literal doorstep is a bit gauche, very American and maybe a bit brash. But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Because of jetlag, I’m not quite sure if it’s today, tomorrow, or the day after. So I’m just going to jumble everything together into one big Paris experience. The people are stunning, dressed perfectly, taking casual chic to a whole new level. That H&M scarf on a Parisian girl with blown out hair and pouty lips looks like it cost a million bucks. I’m trying to figure out how to say, “Can I please take your picture so I can do a street style gallery?” I’m a bit scared of the fancy locals, armed only with a Bonjour, Merci and a D in college French. I’m also determined to kiss a cute French hipster before I fly away.

Keep reading below. Photos by Alex Geana.


I thought it would be fun to cover Zac Posen on his first Parisian excursion; yet, I’ve already been rejected. I don’t think Zac wants anything to do with the New York press. Then again, who needs flouncy dresses and ruffles when I have Dior, Barbara Bui and Rue de Mail. Dior was the first to make room for us on their seating chart, and I get to witness the talented Pedro Lourenco who created a collection based on decay – Chanel, Alexander McQueen and other big names are in my sights: must wrangle and plead. Seeing Vivienne Westwood show a new collection would also be thrilling.

We traveled to a presentation in what can only be called the Parisian version of the East Village. Peering through a window, I saw a cute artist show off his work to a group of friends, while others hung out on balconies and smoked. There’s sushi and Ramen noodles: I catch a big pot of stock brewing in a window. At E. Goyard there’s a custom 2,200 Euro trash can for sale. Angelina tells me the only place you can buy the line in America is at Barney’s. I wonder, with so many European currency issues and political upheaval, how can they do it? Even though the wealthy might not be buying five of everything at a time, they’re at least buying two. Quality very much is the mantra of fashion, and the French live by it.

I’m staying at the Park Hyatt with some of the fashion folk. They’re scattered between The Ritz, Westin and other small hotels. Anna Wintour stays at The Ritz. Last night I hung out with Denning Rodriguez, a powerful fashion attorney at the hotel bar, and I had to say hi to Heidi Klum who looked stunning. I said I loved watching her walk. Leonardo Dicaprio was hanging out with a friend. Some famous guy I couldn’t recognize was in the corner.

The French Fashion Week Accreditation Office

There are fewer shows in Paris, or at least that I can find – probably because it’s my first time. Yet, the shows themselves are powerful and cause waves in the way we think about our look and feel, the way we perceive ourselves. My first stop was at the accreditation office to see if I could plead my way into a press pass (we had missed the deadline by a month). The surly kid, according to my friend with a better understanding of the language, breathed “idiot” under his breath and balked at the thought of a website getting access to the shows. Yet invitations are slowly trickling in, and even his coworker, when she saw the small commotion, came over – she’d heard of The Huffington Post, so now I can say the site’s reach is truly global. She sighed, “We’d love to consider and accommodate you with a press pass next time,” and then encouraged me to meet the deadline. After all the accreditation process is governed by a 1940s law, far before the birth of the online press and unruly bloggers.

We saw our first presentation at the Palais-Royal. Arzu Kaprol showed great dresses with mirrored straps. They served some great nibbly things and real champers. The really cool pictures are in the gallery, and I’d be able to describe the clothes better if I didn’t feel like I was in a time sucking vortex. We couldn’t stay long, unfortunately, because of a conflict. The French aren’t into sponsors and fashion – that whole mix – but then again, the French government pays for everything. Mercedes-Benz still has a presence, though, with private cars for very fancy people. Also Canon provides support from the accreditation tent.

To walk streets and alleys steeped in history, to think of the many lovers, kisses and duels, the protests and the blood; the kings and queens, walking on the cobblestone streets; all this nearly blew me away on arrival. Jet leg almost caused me a bit of a cry. It’s like walking around in a movie. The biggest difference between New York and Paris is that the scaffolding is less abundant, if not non-existent. You can see the city as you stroll. Food is taken just as seriously as Fashion and we’re hoping to get one good meal in, but right now I’ve just discovered the sustaining power of butter.

Women’s Mafia Hampton’s Happenings: Madame Tong’s Redeux, Polo, Hampton Designer Showhouse and More!

Events Exploits Nightlife Travel

The Women’s Mafia will be in the Hamptons this weekend enjoying the start of the Polo season, the Hampton Designer Showhouse, Happy Hours at our share house and — we can now share — the exciting Re-Launch of Madame Tongs!

Madame Tong’s Redeux
Saturday, July 24th, 10 PM to 4 AM 256 Elm St., Southampton

We will be co-hosting a special launch party this Saturday night to bring back the best indoor-outdoor lounge in the Hamptons. This is the place we have all been missing since last summer!

(For more images and a resaurant review visit www.Danshamptons.com)

The new owners have expanded the dance floor into the backyard, installed an all-new sound system, and added 2 more bars and created an exciting new menu, sparing no expense in re-establishing Madame Tong’s as the place to be in the Hamptons.
Call or email us to be on the guest list!

Our house will be hosting happy hours on Friday and Saturday night before we head out for the evening’s festivities. We are planning to go Dune on Friday night and Madame Tong’s on Saturday night. Let me know if you want to join us!
Call our Hamptons Concierge David Shapiro for directions and to make sure you are on the list.

Our house is sold out this weekend (even waitlist), but we have a few spots for other weekends this summer. Call our Hamptons Concierge David Shapiro at 917-806-4171 for more information and to book your vacation. Make sure to mention that you are a Women’s Mafia member to secure the best rooms and rates.


Whatever you do, don’t let the last 7 weekends of the summer pass you by!

Will we see you out in the Hamptons soon?

Member Exclusive: The Women’s Mafia Hamptons Share House!

Events Exploits Nightlife Travel

By Elisha Dang and Marcy Clark

Surprisingly soon it will be that brilliant that time of the year when Manhattanites seek refuge in the Hamptons to enjoy a fun-filled summer and escape the doldrums of winter! Yes, we are those people, and whether you know it or not, we know that you are, too!

The towns are picturesque and filled with history.  The beaches are among the most breathtaking on the East Coast.  The people-watching is unparalleled.  Best of all, your fellow vacationers are all very friendly…as long as you stay at the right house!

The Hamptons
The Hamptons

Through our friend David Shapiro, better known as The Hamptons Concierge, we are hosting Women’s Mafia members and guests at one of two Hamptons houses we secured for this summer.

IMG_3536For over 10 years, David has been one of the most respected house hosts in the Hamptons, offering luxurious amenities for all of his guests. Swim in the heated pool, unwind in the 8-person hot-tub, lounge on the spacious sun deck, fire up the BBQ whenever you want, or enjoy a round on the full-size tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts.

Don’t worry about food and drinks! An in-house chef prepares six meals a weekend (eight meals on holiday weekends), and the houses are stocked with enough liquor to keep it flowing all weekend long. Continue reading

Announcing The Women’s Mafia Hamptons Share House!

Events Travel

By Elisha Dang and Marcy Clark

It’s that time of the year again when Manhattanites seek refuge in the Hamptons to enjoy a fun-filled summer and escape the doldrums of winter (and, this year, spring)! Yes, we are those people, and whether you know it or not, we know that you are, too!

The towns are picturesque and filled with history.  The beaches are among the most breathtaking on the East Coast.  The people-watching is unparalleled.  Best of all, your fellow vacationers are all very friendly…as long as you stay at the right house!

The Hamptons
The Hamptons

Through our friend David Shapiro, better known as The Hamptons Concierge, we are hosting Women’s Mafia members and guests at one of two Hamptons houses we secured for the weekends of July 24th, August 21st and Labor Day.

For over 10 years, David has been one of the most respected house hosts in the Hamptons, offering luxurious amenities for all of his guests. Swim in the heated pool, unwind in the 8-person hot-tub, lounge on the spacious sun deck, fire up the BBQ whenever you want, or enjoy a round on the full-size tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts.

Don’t worry about food and drinks! An in-house chef prepares six meals a weekend (eight meals on holiday weekends), and the houses are stocked with enough liquor to keep it flowing all weekend long.

If you’re ever feeling a little “morning after” guilt, tennis pro Christopher Ross-da Silva, former member of Portugal’s Davis Cup team, will be conducting clinics during the weekend, and the houses also have plenty of yoga mats available if you want to squeeze in an individual workout.
Christopher Ross-da SilvaIMG_3536
For those workaholics who just can’t leave the office behind, home office equipment and Wi-Fi access are available.  We can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to get all your work done, though…you’ll probably give up about 20 minutes in and join everyone else by the pool!

While many Hamptons houses will easily run you $500 to $800 for a weekend, we have secured a group rate of $295 for Women’s Mafia members! (Slightly higher for Labor Day.) This includes all the amenities, food and drinks, maid service, linen service, and pre-arranged entrance to the clubs. Also, for every member who books, David Shapiro will be making a donation towards our causes.

Call David at 917-806-4171 to reserve your weekends. Be sure to mention that The Women’s Mafia sent you! Also, email me so we can coordinate (some of us are renting cars) and so I can introduce you to everyone!

Spaces are limited, and many members have already reserved, so we recommend that you call ASAP.

Here are some photos of a recent trip we took with the Women’s Mafia editorial staff and friends:
Don’t forget to visit the Women’s Mafia Facebook Page (Become a fan!)

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Hot Happenings and Cool Locations for this Weekend!

Events Exploits Nightlife Travel

First of all, there is a top secret Women’s Mafia event for members this Saturday night. You can sign up at “Join the Mafia” and then RSVP to marcy@womensmafia.com to get the address…

madmen_invite

There are also some other fun adventures to be had in and around the city this weekend:

Water Taxi Beach is officially open!

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Zip Car has a very cool $75 credit for people who sign up now. I’m not sure how long it lasts, but I embraced my love of the open road last week and it worked! Try “SpringNY”. These are some of the places I’m planning on visiting:

Woodstock, New York

Chill, relaxed bohemian perfection. Need I say more?

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The North Fork of Long Island

I have a Hamptons share for four weekends this summer but I still have never been to the North Fork! I envision a lovely, romantic drive through the trees and then winding through the vineyards and stopping at one or two for a tasting and some delicious local cuisine…

Or a silly, raucous trip with my girls that includes lots of off-key singing and wine-induced giggling, whichever comes first!
(Oh, and please have a Designated Driver ladies!)

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 This is another transportation option...
This is another transportation option...

15pindar

What’s new and hot in Vegas?

Exploits Nightlife Travel

by Sonja Leix

I just recently went to Las Vegas for the first time and got absolutely hooked by it’s crazy parties. I’m already planning my next trip and want to share the latest party hot spots with you.

There is no better place to escape the routine than a weekend-get-away to Sin City. Just a five hour plane ride from New York City to dive into a sea of entertainment and gambling in the heart of Nevada’s desert. Most hotels offer fantastic deals right now to attract more people.

Enjoy the hottest new beats at Vegas’ hottest nightclubs: Friday nights A-list club goers and celebrities party VIP-style at the LUXOR’s luxurious mega Nightclub LAX (www.laxthenightclub.com) on 26,000 square feet on two floors or at PRIVÉ Nightclub at the Planet Hollywood (www.privelv.com) – a super-club with hip-hop celebrity guests, DJ’s and superstars like 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake on a weekly basis, about half the size of LAX.

LAX Nightclub
LAX Nightclub @ LUXOR

The Encore opened a brand new Nightclub end of last year. It is called XS Nightclub (www.xslasvegas.com) and the must-go-to for Saturday nights! At XS no extravagance is spared – it is the new diamond of Vegas nightlife. If insomnia is haunting you go to Drai’s Afterparties (www.drais.net) – Thursday to Sunday from 1 am to close.

XS Nightclub @ Encore
XS Nightclub @ Encore

Other fabulous clubs that promise great fun every night of the weekend are TAO Nightclub at The Venetian (www.taolasvegas.com) and Body English (www.bodyenglish.com) at the Hard Rock Hotel. The Palms (www.palms.com) offers a special venue for everyone. It is home to the legendary Playboy Club, Rain and Moon Nightclub. The exclusive nightclub Moon is definitely worth to check out for it’s boutique venue, spectacular views of the city and a retracable roof. Most clubs have guest list and/or a cover charge, but in my experience beautiful girls always access the clubs easily and we never had to pay to get in.

What is rocking when all the clubs are closed? Don’t miss the hottest pool parties in town that feature word-class DJs: WET REPUBLIC at the MGM (www.wetrepublic.com), TAO BEACH at the Venetian (www.taolasvegas.com) and probably the most famous one is REHAB at the Hard Rock (www.rehablv.com). Enjoy the sun and rehabilitate from the night before and experience the wildest pool party you ever have!

Rehab @ Hard Rock
Rehab @ Hard Rock

I wish you a fabulous weekend in Las Vegas and hope you get to check out some of my favourite spots! Give me your feed-back on your favourites! For more information on clubs, the latest events and news check out www.lasvegasweekly.com.