Dr Ruth Westheimer @ Bottle Rocket

If anyone needs to watch their shekels in this recession it's probably the average New Yorker, according to a recent report from the Center for Urban Future which revealed, among other things:

* A New Yorker would have to make $123,322 a year to have the same standard of living as someone making $50,000 in Houston.
* In Manhattan, a $60,000 salary is equivalent to someone making $26,092 in Atlanta.

My NY recession tip of the moment involves saving money on entertainment without really trying, thus: I get the just-expired TimeOut NY dumped in the lobby every week. The idea is that you get so engrossed flipping through it and 'awwww shucksing' over all the things you just missed, you subscribe. The real benefit is that reading it takes so much of your morning you actually feel exhausted like you vicariously partook - but your wallet is intact.

But I was foiled: a friend got so tired of me recanting just-missed events he bought me a subscription. Watch out wallet, I'm armed and dangerous ...yet there are actually many cheap'n'choosy pickings between the covers. One that jumped out was a free wine tasting/book launch by pint-sized, 80-something sexologist Dr Ruth Westheimer.

Now I recall thumbing through a Dating (or was it Romance?) for Dummies micro-book by Dr Ruth and noting the sagacity of the 1-lines therein. So I made a point of attending this, a launch of her latest how to do it: "I PREDICT GREAT SEX FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE".

The appearance drew a packed house at the Bottle Rocket wine shop in Chelsea.

Unfortunately a deadline had me landing there just after she delivered her latest G-spot tips to the adoring and imbibing crowd. But in the true spirit of cheap'n'choosy, I got her to sign her, um card. See below. I'm waiting for the Teutonic talking book!

Now I don't actually drink, but I fell under the spell of an amazing elderflower liqueur called St Germain, which is apparently one of the hottest newish poisons on the planet right now:

It's just what gets a teetotaller - sweet rather than dry, but not cloyingly so. Mix it with sparkling water and a twist of lemon and voila, super refreshing! The marketing is slicko - hanging around the neck is one of the most beautifully art directed little micro brochure-booklets you will ever encounter, complete with photos of Pierre on a clunker riding off to pluck elderflowers by hand. The St Germain equivalent of naked virgins plucking at harps.

I'm sure Dr Ruth would approve with one provisio - everything in moderation, including moderation ...


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