Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why I Love Being a New York Birthday Planner

I really enjoy being a New York Birthday planner.  There is something great about helping people have a fantastic birthday, and I love providing a personal VIP service for all of our wonderful clients at My NYC Birthday.

One of the things that I find particularly rewarding is being a resource for people who are unfamiliar with the clubs, bars, and lounges in the city.  It feels great to be able to provide comprehensive information about every venue that we work with, and to be able to answer practically any question that is asked.  It also really helps keep me on my toes, because sometimes there is that question that I do not know the answer to, and it always seems to come from someone who is either new to the city or visiting.. The level of customer service that I believe in means that I am going to find out the correct answer and get back to the client quickly, and it is always great to learn something new and know that it is going to allow me to be able to help other clients in the future.

Another thing that I find particularly rewarding is helping extremely busy people have great birthday parties.  Whether it is a graduate student, banker, lawyer, mom, dad, or any other person who lacks spare time, my extensive knowledge of New York City nightlife allows me to really provide something that they would never be able to put together for themselves.  The amount of time that it takes to find venues, find out information, compare pricing and seating options, send out invitations, and all of the other vast array of things you have to do in order to plan your own birthday makes it hard for these busy people to put together an event that they will be happy with.  However, by being there for them and providing top-notch customer service, expertise, and asking the right questions, I can accomplish for these busy people what they cannot do for themselves: Planning the perfect NYC birthday party!

Something that I have become more appreciative of as My NYC Birthday continues to grow is the ability to negotiate discounts and deals for our clients.  One thing that I really love is being able to provide complimentary bottles for larger parties.  It is especially great to be able to help struggling graduate students who are living on loans to be able to have the kind of birthday that they cannot afford for themselves.  In addition, by having a good grasp on the pricing of each venue, I can help someone find an affordable spot that works for their friends' budgets as well.  Of course, it is definitely fun to plan a party that has a "the sky is the limit" budget, but there is something extremely fulfilling about helping a small budget look huge.  Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday, and I like making that happen.

My job is taking care of people, and it is something that I love to do.  There is something magical about ending each weekend knowing that you have helped people create memoriess that they and their friends will share for the rest of their lives.  I genuinely care about each of my clients, and it is always my hope that they will become something more as we work together.  The person that starts out as a stranger often becomes a friend, and that is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of working as a birthday planner.  I get to meet a wide range of people from all walks of life, am able to help them have incredible birthday experiences, and then have the opportunity to gain incredible new friends at every step along the way.  Planning NYC birthdays is what I do, but helping people have amazing memories and experiences is my passion, and I am extremely happy to say that I love being a New York birthday planner.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New York Birthdays: Cupcakes and Bottles at Pranna

After the last post, I thought this would be an appropriate picture to post after the discussion about bottle service in New York City.

This picture is from a birthday party at Pranna, and shows a delicious assortment of cupcakes with some bottles, mixers, and ice in the background at private table on the mezzanine level.  The picture was taken at a birthday party thrown in March, and is a nice illustration of the perks of bottle service.  The birthday girl has her own VIP area, delicious cupcakes for all of her friends, and of course great bottles to enjoy as she celebrates in style.  Pluls, she has a great view from her table, which sits high above the dance floor and looks down upon the DJ as he spins an awesome selection of Top 40 and hip-hop.

If you are celebrating your New York birthday, and want to have an experience that will truly make you feel on top of the world, cupcakes and your favorite alcohol certainly will not do anything but help you have a great evening.

New York Birthday - Bottle Service in a Nutshell

We often get calls at our New York birthday planning service asking us, "What is bottle service?"  This sometimes catches us by surprise, as bottle service is a mainstay aspect of NYC clubs and lounges, and has been for some time.  However, for those who are curious, this blog post discusses what bottle service actually is, and some of the costs associated with it.

"Bottle service" is the term given to VIP treatment at trendy hotspots and lounges where a person elects to purchase at least one bottle (but often more) of liquor.  Besides the bottle, the purchaser receives a premium seating area and table, and one-on-one attention from a staff member who will be responsible for delivering the bottle, glasses, and any associated mixers and chasers. 

In New York City, you can expect to pay a pretty penny for bottle service, and prices often start around $300 before tax and gratuity.  At some of the top venues, you may find yourself paying more than a $1,000 for premium liquors and champagnes.  Many first-time visitors or relative newcomers are surprised by the costs, but bottle service is considered a sign of status, so you can expect to pay accordingly.

On the other hand, bottle service can often provide some unique benefits that make it worth the high price.  Typically, bottle service means free, expedited entry into a club for the purchaser and his or her guests.  In addition, there is something special and very cool about bypassing the line and being escorted to your premium table that has to be experienced to be understood.

One of our customers' favorite things about our service is that we often offer complimentary bottles to large parties (normally at least 25 people), where we handle the cost of the bottle and let our clients handle the gratuity.  If you are having a birthday party in New York, make sure to check us out to enjoy this unique service that we offer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Celebrating a New York City Birthday? Try Something New This Year!

Have you been counting down the days waiting for your big New York City birthday to arrive at long last? Is your calendar marked up with big red X's as you anxiously await your special day?  If you are like most people, you desire to celebrate the big day with a very memorable and unique birthday party.  However, if you are like most people, you probably dread the thought of trying to plan your birthday or shiver at the thought of doing the same old thing again this year that you did the year before.
Luckily for you, you are celebrating in NYC, the city that never sleeps, and you have a vast array of options to choose from.  You can celebrate at the hottest nightclubs, the hippest bars, or the chilliest lounges, and you can do so all in the city.  In fact, your biggest problem may be narrowing down where to celebrate, as New York City offers the finest dining, the hottest social scenes, and literally has something for everyone who is looking to celebrate a birthday in style.

The secret to an excellent party is to not only choose a great venue to party in, but also to come up with birthday ideas that fit what you and your friends desire. If your friends love to dance, you should make certain to throw your party at a hip nightclub.  If your crowd likes to lounge around and try different kinds of wine, then a wine bar may be for you.  If you like food, then New York offers an amazing assortment of restaurants that are open all hours of the day, and you can certainly find one that fits both your tastes and your budget. 

One of the great things about New York City is that it constantly has new clubs, bars, and lounges opening all the time.  So, one of the great things to do on your birthday is to find a new venue that none of your friends have been to before, and make that your celebration place of choice.  Everyone will remember the first time they went that "new spot" and your birthday will be associated with "hip, fresh, and new", assuming that you choose the right location.

Looking for other alternatives?  Art galleries are all over Manhattan, and you will find a range of some of the most creative and fabulous art venues in the entire world right within New York City.  There are art galleries for every taste, and most openings now offer drinks at the event, so you can plan a great birthday party around a night out looking at the art of your choice.

Another idea that many people forget about it celebrating the night on one of the city's many boats or yachts.  Manhattan is an island after all, and there are plenty of dinner, booze, and sight-seeing cruises that are sure to please, and you can be that your friends will have a great time touring the waterways around New York under the light of the moon.

Sometimes people in New York City don't try new things because they feel like they don't have the time, energy, or money to plan out such events, but there are a variety of NYC birthday planning services that can help you, and some of them even assist with the planning at no cost to you.  So before you head down to the same old bar to celebrate your birthday the same way that you have for the past five years, maybe you should consider checking one of them out.

Regardless of what you choose to do, NYC is a great place to celebrate a birthday and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New York Birthdays and Your Budget

If you are planning a birthday in the Big Apple, then there is no question that you have a lot of opportunities to do a wide variety of big things. In the city that never sleeps, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can do to celebrate your New York City birthday. However, there comes a point in time in the midst of dreaming about your big night where you need to stop, take a deep breath, and decide what you can realistically spend on your birthday. This article will help you make some decisions regarding what that budget should be for your night of NYC magic and fun. (This is assuming that you are not a heiress or have not recently won the lottery, and actually have to do some budgeting. If you fall in either of those categories, you should not spend another moment worrying about the budget, and should instead start thinking about your new yacht, and whether you want to arrive by helicopter at your birthday party. However, if you are like most of us and celebrating on a budget, then read on.)
First and foremost, you need to decide what the maximum amount of money that you can spend is. For our clients, we often tell them that there are two ways to approach this. The first is to picture yourself holding a match and a pile of cash. Pretend that the pile of cash is all of the money that you have to spend on your birthday party, and then pretend that the match is the evening itself. Mentally light the match, and picture all of that cash going up in smoke. If it makes you feel stressed out, or you feel like you might need some of that money to meet other monthly obligations, it might be time to re-think the original amount of money that you were starting with in terms of your birthday budget.
The other possibility for clients is to decide in advance how much a huge memorable night of celebrating is worth to them. It is helpful to determine in advance if they are willing to scrimp and save for a few months before or after their NYC birthday celebration in order to ensure that they have an incredible night, or if they would they rather save a bit the night of and enjoy life more before and after the party.
Once you have a budget in mind, then you have to decide exactly how you want to spend it. Are you going to want a big dinner and a chill night afterwards? Or, would you prefer to put all of your budget into a night out at a lounge or club. If you choose to spend heavily at a bar or club, you will need to decide if you want bottles or any type of open bar service for you and your friends. When you are thinking about these things, do not forget to include the gratuity for the service in your calculations. It is easy to get a nice "deal", only to discover that you must pay gratutity and tax in addition to amazing deal that you got.
Last, but not least, you will want to decide if you want to provide any party gifts for your friends that come out. Saving a bit in advance can ensure that you have some nice party gifts to provide at the end of the evening if you choose to go this route.

If you keep all of these things in mind, you will be able to have a fabulous NYC birthday celebration that is affordable, fun, and memorable.  One of the reasons that we operate our NYC birthday planning service is to help people gain a firm understanding in advance of the costs of having a New York birthday, and to help them plan accordingly (of course it helps the cause that our service is free!).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Three Reasons You Should Use a NYC Birthday Planning Service

The first question we often hear from many of our future clients is, "Why should I use a NYC Birthday Planning Service?"  The answers to this question are wide-ranging, but generally fall into three categories.

First, using a party planning service saves you time. In today's busy world, who really has the time to call hundreds of venues, figure out bottle costs, find out dress codes, inquire about cover charges, discuss table reservations, and everything else that goes into throwing a New York City birthday party?  The fact is that you can spend days on the task of trying to plan your own party, and you may do so with no success.  It only makes sense to turn to the experts for your important occasion.  After all, you would not try to perform your own open heart surgery (I hope), and if you truly treat your birthday like an important day, it only makes sense to let an expert handle it for you.

Second, it reduces your stress.  There is nothing worse the night of your special day than trying to ensure that each and every single thing goes right.  Between making sure that everyone gets in, to making sure that your table is ready, to figuring out what bottles are supposed to be where, and a myriad of other things, your own birthday party can instead become a stress-inducing affair that you won't have time to enjoy.  By putting yourself in the hands of experts, you ensure that you have time to relax and enjoy your birthday extravaganza.
Last, but not least, working with a NYC birthday planner saves you money and provides many perks that you just cannot get on your own.  For example, our service often provides complimentary bottles, no cover entry, free reserved seating, shout-outs from the DJ, VIP treatment, and much, much more, all at no cost to you.  If your birthday is a special day, why not make sure that you get the wonderful treatment that you deserve?

NYC birthday planning services are an excellent way to make sure that you have a fantastic experience.  They can save you time, stress, and money, and ensure that your birthday is a hassle-free experience, instead of a nightmare that you never want to repeat.  After all, you only get one birthday each year, so you should definitely make sure that it is an incredible experience that you will be a lifetime memory that you can talk about for years to come.

How to Plan a Great NYC Birthday in the Village - West Third Common

If you looking to plan a great NYC birthday, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are a wide variety of venues, so you will have plenty of options to choose from when planning out this very special occasion. The flipside to this, which is the bad news, is that there are such a wide variety of venues for you to celebrate at that you may have trouble narrowing down just one. There are so many activities, musicals, sports events, and attractions that the hardest part of your birthday may be narrowing down your choices to just one thing. Luckily for you, in the city that never sleeps, you will have time to do plenty of things.
One suggestion that I have is combining dinner and drinks with your after-party celebration. A fantastic spot do do this at is West 3rd Common, which is located right off of Broadway at 3rd Street. This relative newcomer to the New York birthday scene offers a pretty nice array of drinks, and the bar has a full menu that guarantees to satisfy. In addition, the place has a nice assortment of board games that are available to play, including my personal favorite Connect 4. There is nothing better than alternating shots with shouting "Connect 4" as you lounge about in style.
At night, the venue really picks up, and you have a nice opportunity to enjoy champagne, mixed-drinks, shots, and a vibrant nightlife. The venue often opens its huge bay windows, which allow the night air to flow through and really make you feel connected with the ambience of New York City. If you are looking to celebrate a NYC Birthday, West Third is a great choice.
The area also features some other fabulous eating spots if you are looking to eat somewhere else before coming to the bar. Local favorites include Bully's Diner, Think Coffee (famous for their grilled cheese sandwiches), and Acme, with a unique blend of southern and cajun flavors that are guaranteed to make you say, "YUM!"
Access to the area is also simple, with a nice variety of subways, cabs, and town cars available to pick you up, and it is also a nice walk on a beautiful summer evening to the area from anywhere in the city. Some of the sites that you may see as you are walking down if coming from midtown include the famous Fifth Avenue Shops, the Empire State Building, and New York University. 
Summer time is a fun time, and celebrating your birthday in New York City successfully can be as simple as planning your birthday at the right NYC hotspot.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Three Tips For Throwing a Surprise Birthday Party

At some point in life, everyone deserves to have a surprise party. It is an amazing feeling to walk into an apartment, bar, club, or lounge and find yourself completely overwhelmed and surprised as your friends, family, and work colleagues shout, "Happy birthday!" and surprise you. As the guest of honor, you really do not have to much more than show up.
However, if you are on the other side of the coin, and are the one planning the surprise party, you may find yourself stressed about how much effort has to go into pulling it off smoothly. There are many details to keep in mind, secrets to keep, and it can be a very stressful experience. This article is designed to show you how to make the whole process easier and smoother.
The first thing to keep in mind about a surprise party is that in today's world of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, secrets are hard to keep. As you start planning this event, you must always keep in mind that you have to stress the secrecy of the event and be certain that neither you or the invitees inadvertently blow the big surprise. If you decide to do online invitations via email or Facebook, you must be certain that the list is private and will not accidentally be seen by person you are trying to surprise. This means being very careful about whom you email, the privacy settings of any event that you create, and also remind each and every potential guest that the event is indeed a surprise. The last thing you want happening is for someone to tell someone that they are looking forward to attending their birthday party, or that they are really sorry that they are unable to attend. The trick is being very clear on the nature of the surprise, and ensuring that everyone is playing for the same team.
The second thing to you must be wary of is choosing a great location and ensuring that the venue is capable of hosting a surprise party. Problems that people often run into are large windows, small amounts of parking, or stragglers that arrive at the same as the person that you are attempting to surprise. Key things to keep in mind when choosing a private home or an apartment are the ability to hide cars and other modes of transportation, the ability of everyone to actually fit inside the dwelling, and also that it is a place where the birthday boy or girl won't be suspicious of heading out to visit. If you plan the party at your Aunt Martha's whom you have not visited in 20 years, or have the birthday party at an isolated house with everyone's car parked outside in plain view, you can rest assured that the surprise will be ruined.
If you are hosting the party at a venue, the same concepts apply. Choose a venue with easy access for your guests, with plenty of nearby parking or public transportation that allows the presence of the party to be hidden. Make sure the party cannot be spotted from outside the venue, and ensure that it is a place that the person of honor will not get suspicious about attending.
Last, but not least, perhaps the most important thing you can do in keeping a surprise birthday party a true surprise is to be aware of your own actions and tendencies. If you are nervous, have an excuse. If you are keeping notes or making plans, ensure that you do not leave them out. Be aware of where the other person is, when they are around, and who they talk to, and avoid any potential conflicts that could ruin the surprise.
Surprise birthday parties are a lot of fun, and if pulled off successfully, will shine brightly in memories for a very long time. Sometimes the easiest way to go plan a surprise party is to use a birthday planning service, because it allows you to avoid a good deal of the hassle and stress of keeping the secret. They can often take care of everything for you, including the invitations.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top 10 Places to Celebrate Your New York City Birthday in 2011

New York City is a big place, and one of the more daunting tasks in the city can be choosing where to celebrate your first New York City birthday. Here, we compile a top ten list to help make the process easier for you, in hopes of making your birthday simple, amazing, and affordable.

1. Marquee. Marquee is a NYC birthday hotspot that has been going strong for years, and shows no signs of slowing down. This popular venue on 10th Avenue is renowned for its fantastic nightlife, treatment of birthday guests, great space, and amazing music. The high ceilings, exciting Red Room, and multiple bars are just a few of the myriad of things that this venue has to offer.

2. Slate. Slate, located on 23rd Street, is a favorite among those visiting Chelsea when celebrating their birthday. Slate's main floor boasts a long main bar, a great dance floor, and a semi-private backroom that provides a mix of lounge and dance space that are sure to make your birthday fun.

3. West Third Common. This relative newcomer to the NYC birthday scene offers a nice array of drafts and bottles, lounge space, and good music, but is especially known for its great food. The kitchen provides delicious American fare, and the garlic fries will keep you coming back again and again.

4. Katra. This nightlife hotspot on Bowery is known for its customer service, friendly management, great music, and all-night dancing. The two floors boast separate DJ's on each, allowing for anyone celebrating a birthday in New York City to enjoy moving between floors to mix-and-match dance scenes as they see fit.

5. Sidebar. Sidebar, located at Union Square, is known for its chill nightlife, fun dancing, and delicious cocktails. It's location provides for easy access from anywhere in the city, and the backroom is known as a fun dancespot.

6. Katwalk. Katwalk, located in midtown, had a great bar downstairs with plenty of seating, but is perhaps best known for its semi-private dance space located on the top floor, complete with its own private bar. Dancing on the same floor as the DJ ensures that the music matches the crowd's desires, guaranteeing a night of fun.

7. 310 Lounge. The 310 Lounge, located on Bowery, is a great mix of bar, lounge, and club, providing a laid-back atmosphere to celebrate your birthday in style. Whether you want bottle service, shots, or signature cocktails, the 310 Lounge provides it all.

8. Village Pour House Downtown. The Village Pour House, located on 3rd Avenue, provides a sports bar atmosphere that is great for friends to gather and celebrate birthdays while enjoying sports from around the world. The three bars, friendly staff, and delicious bar fare ensure a fun time for everyone.

9. Bar 13. Bar 13, located close to Union Square, provides multiple levels of fun for all, plus an excellent rooftop space to enjoy the night air while enjoying your favorite beverage. Each floor has its own bar and sound system, allowing a lot of variety when celebrating your birthday.

10. Pranna. Pranna is a delicious restaurant by day, and at night transforms into one of New York City's hottest nightlife venues. There are multiple floors, great DJ's, amazing crowds, and bottle service that ensures that your birthday is unforgettable.

If you celebrate your NYC birthday at any one of these venues, you will not be disappointed!