Top 10 Lists

Top Ten Things to Bring to a Barbecue

Posted in Top 10 Lists on May 26th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment
In honor of Memorial Day I thought it’d be appropriate to list my top ten things to bring to a barbecue. Everyone goes to at least one Memorial Day weekend and sometimes they don’t know what to bring. That’s where I come in!
1.  A bottle of alcohol or wine
They always say it’s 5’oclock somewhere! You can never have too much alcohol. I’m not saying to go out and get belligerently drunk and embarrass yourself in front of your friends and family, but at a big barbecue a few drinks per person can really add up; so the more the better. Remember, drink responsibly!
2. A dessert
Another thing you can never have enough of. Forget dinner, let’s get to dessert! Of course the dessert you bring doesn’t have to look like the one featured, but bring something simple and delicious, like apple pie. A traditional dessert that everyone’s bound to love. Don’t like apple pie? Go for a chocolate cake or ice cream, someone’s sweet tooth is bound to like what you bring.
3. Appetizers
Barbecues aren’t just about hanging out with friends and family, they’re also a place for people to show off their best and most creative recipes. Appetizers are the perfect things for just that. These small delicious platters are the perfect size to have more than one, and yet keep you craving the main meal. So get out your cookbooks and put on your aprons, because everyone will want to try your appetizers!
4. Cups
Although the hosts of the barbecue will most likely already have this crucial supply, do a little to help them out. Maybe they underestimated the amount of people showing up, or maybe a bunch of people misplaced their cups and need new ones. You can never have too many cups, and if you do, I’m sure the hosts will use them all at some point. But let’s face it, no one will only use one cup during the night, especially if they decide to have different drinks. Putting water in a cup that had soda just won’t taste very refreshing.
5. Ice
For those of you who think that there will be enough cups, bring a bag or two of ice. That stuff melts fast, especially in the hot weather, and no one wants to drink warm water or soda. It’s a guarantee that you’ll be a party saver when bringing more ice. Party Plus: no one has to run out when everyone realizes that the ice supply has been depleted!
6. Your Appetite
Going along with the desserts and appetizers is your appetite. Make sure not to eat too much earlier on in the day, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the amazing food at the barbecue, which will probably offend some people. Cousin Sheila will probably think you don’t like her pigs in a blanket or that you think her Oreo pudding isn’t good, but in reality you’re not eating because you’re too full from earlier on in the day. So let’s all save cousin Sheila the pain and go hungry. In the wise words of IHOP, “Go Hungry, Leave Happy!”
7. A Good Playlist
One of the best things to go along with a party full of family and friends is great music. Thanks to the glorious world of iPods everyone and anyone can make a playlist of their favorite music. So bring out your best tunes and become the DJ because any party can use tons of music. When the kids start playing their rap music and all of the parents get annoyed, jump in and put on some old school rock and roll. That’ll be sure to get their spirits up, and someone’s bound to embarrass their kids by playing the air guitar.
8. Bug Spray
Summer, a time of warm weather, the sun, many parties outside, and of course mosquitoes. Make sure you pack some bug spray so you don’t wake up with those itchy, red bug bites all over your arms and legs the next morning. Plus, share with friends. I’m sure they’ll realize you’re the smart one for bringing bug spray in the first place!
9. Sunscreen
Not only does Memorial Day weekend mean barbecues, but it also means the start to sunny days and summer. Bring some sunscreen to share with everyone so they don’t have embarrassing farmer’s tans; and yes you can get sunburned through the clouds. So be prepared, and help out those pale people in need (like me). Better to be pale then a funky shade of red!
10. A Good Mood
Finally, be in a good mood. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, so put on your party hat (not literally, unless you actually have a party hat) and have a good time! It’s Memorial Day weekend so have some fun, before you have to back to work during the week. Most of all be the life of the party, that way no one will ever forget you. Party Plus: your friends will be longing to invite you to their future get-togethers.
Well, there you have it; my top ten things to bring to a barbecue. Bring any and all of these things this weekend and you’re bound to have nothing less then a great time!
–Sari Cohen, Summer 2011 Intern

Top Ways To Get Cheap Broadway Tickets

Posted in Top 10 Lists on October 8th, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Everyone loves a Broadway show every once in a while, maybe more often if the tickets weren’t so pricey. There are many ways to obtain tickets for select shows at a discounted price.

1.  If you have a valid student ID, you are all set. Student Rush Tickets are available for many shows. They are sold either as soon as the box office is opened, or 1 hour to curtain.  Some are available on a first come first serve basis and others use a lottery system. All of these options require a student ID and usually have a limit of 2 tickets per ID; also, most only accept cash. See classics like Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys for under $30. A complete list of participating shows and information on how to obtain these tickets can be found at:

2.  Try your luck as a volunteer usher. Select theaters use volunteer ushers and in return, for an hour or two of your time, you get to see the show for free. Check out details at:

3.  Sign up for free with “Student No Rush” tickets at Ticket Central. Weekly updates will be emailed to you. Shows are usually less than $30. This is a great resource if you are seeking Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway tickets.

4.  Check out HipTix at: HipTix offers a limited number of tickets to select shows for $20. Sign up for free and receive email updates.

5.  Many Universities and Colleges stage their own productions. Many are open to the public and are generally inexpensive. Check their websites for more information.

Together with a few friends, I have seen one of the last performances of “Spring Awakening”. We went to the Box office in the morning and bought 5 Student Rush tickets at $22.50 each. Regular price tickets were long sold out or costs as much as $100. We had scattered seats on the balcony, far away from the stage, but yet the view was still amazing. The experience was just amazing. I have actually seen “Rent” and “Billy Elliot” using Student Rush tickets too. It is definitely worth the wait in line. Broadway shows are an unforgettable experience.

Top 10 Sunscreens for Labor Day Weekend

Posted in Top 10 Lists on September 2nd, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

You planned your vacation months in advance. The hotels are booked. The rental car pickup arranged. You even asked friends for a list of restaurant recommendations but did you consider your skin and what sunscreen is best for you to protect you from the damage of the sun?

The staff at Penta has you covered. We researched the top 10 sunscreens that have enough spf protection, are great from the face and body, good for the kiddies while out playing, and eco-friendly. Take a look at our list of sunscreens and their ingredients and grab the necessary amount to accompany you for the weekend and protect you against dreaded sunburn.

1. Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body, SFP 30

Sunscreen Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 30 is one of the most popular eco-friendly sunscreens on the market.

It contains zinc oxide as a sun blocking ingredient, which is effective against both UVA and UVB rays. Badger sunscreen is made of certified organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, golden yellow beeswax, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, lavender oil, orange oil and others. This not only helps to protect against sunburns but also moisturizes the skin.

The sunscreen is suitable for children of all ages and adults thanks to its natural content. It is also water resistant, being active even after 40 minutes of swimming.

2. California Baby, Sun block Stick, SPF 30

California Baby SPF 30, Sun block Stick is chemical-free sunscreen that can be used even for babies skin. It does not contain fragrance, PABA or harmful chemicals and at the same time effectively protects skin from UVA and UVB rays thanks to its highly micronized, non-whitening titanium dioxide.

The California Baby sunscreen is water resistant, being effective after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating. The stick provides smooth and even application without stains, making sure your child gets all the needed protection.

It is also very convenient to take it along due to it compact design.

3. Loving Naturals Sunscreen, SPF 30

Loving Naturals Organic SPF 30 Sunscreen is an eco-friendly natural sunscreen made only of organic ingredients. The main sunblocking agent is non-nano particle zinc oxide that protects you from wide range of UV rays.

The Loving Naturals sunscreen contains only natural ingredients, such as grape seed oil, organic sunflower oil, organic olive oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic green tea and others that have moisturizing effect.

You can be sure that this sunscreen does not contain doubtful chemicals that can absorb the skin and have detrimental effect on your skin or the environment.

4. Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 is an organic sunscreen that is meant to protect you from sun exposure and reduce your risk of premature skin ageing or developing skin cancer.

This eco-friendly sunscreen does not contain chemicals, including parabens and is easily biodegradable. Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen is rich in natural oils and extracts, including grape seed oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, macadamia oil, green tea, roman chamomile and others.

The sunscreen is suitable for children and adults.

5. Think Baby Safe Sunscreen, SPF 30

Think Baby Safe Sunscreen SPF 30 provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays and retains its effectiveness in the water and under sunlight. It does not contain hormone disrupting chemicals, parabens and PABA.

One of the main sun protecting ingredients of the Think Baby sunscreen is zinc oxide. The sunscreen texture is smooth and easy to apply without leaving greasy stains.

The sunscreen has a nice scent and is very stable on the skin.

6. All Terrain Aqua Sport Performance Sunscreen

All Terrain Aqua Sport Performance Sunscreen is made specifically for those, who love water sports, giving extra protection under sunlight and in the water.

The sunscreen is highly water-resistant and retains its effectiveness even after 80 minutes of activities in the water. It offers protection against UVA and UVB rays, preventing sunburn and other unwanted side-effects of sun exposure.

All Terrain Sunscreen contains natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, bladderwrack extract, cucumber extract, grapefruit extract and others.

7. UV Natural Baby Sunscreen, SPF30

UV Natural Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 offers an effective protection against UV exposure. It contains zinc oxide as the main sun protecting ingredient, as well as a great number of moisturizing natural extracts and oils, including green tea, grape seed oil, macadamia oil and others.

The sunscreen does not contain preservatives or fragrances. UV Natural Baby Sunscreen goes in a recyclable package, which is a good eco-friendly option.

8. L’uvalla Face & Body Sunscreen, SPF 20

L’uvalla Face & Body Sunscreen, SPF 20 is made of quality natural oils, extracts, cold pressed virgin oils that nourish and moisturize your skin. The sunscreen is produced cruelty free, which means no humans or animals were abused.

It offers effective protection from UVA and UVB rays for adults, children those with sensitive skin.

L’uvalla Sunscreen is free of preservatives, chemicals and PBAs, being also sustainable.

9. Bull Frog Ultimate Sheer Projection, SPF 30

Bullfrog Ultimate Sheer Protection is another natural sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

The formula of the sunscreen is quite rich, including the unique blend of seven soothing extracts, six moisturizers and four powerful antioxidants, which leave your skin moisturized and nurtured.

The sunscreen is waterproof and hypoallergenic, which is suitable for adults and children. It is easy applied on the skin, preventing the pores from clogging.

10. Desert Essence Age Reversal Sunscreen Mineral Daily Face Protection, SPF 30

Desert Essence Age Reversal Sunscreen Mineral Daily Face Protection SPF 30 is designed to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

The sunscreen is chemicals free, containing natural ingredients such as vitamin E, grape seed extract and pomegranate extract, which not only moisturize your skin but also reduce wrinkles and other skin ageing signs.

The sunscreen can be applied underneath make up, giving your skin a healthy appearance.

Top 10 Things To Do This Labor Day Weekend

Posted in Top 10 Lists on August 31st, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Labor Day weekend is here and that means that most of us have three-day weekends ahead of us. Sure, 4th of July has fireworks and hotdog-eating contests, but how do you celebrate Labor Day?

Labor day weekend for most people signifies bbq’s with close family and friends, fun in the sun on the beach, sports and activities with colleagues, and sadly…the last holiday of the summer. If you are like most people, you want to find the best vacation or tourist spot to have a great time without breaking the bank.

If you are a native New Yorker, a frequent visitor to the city, or a tourist looking for the perfect place to visit or spend your weekend for cheap, we have come up with 10 perfect attractions to fit your budget and desire for a good time.

1.) The Beach
If you are looking for a family friendly beach check out Staten Island’s South Beach. With a playground, boardwalks, bocce courts, ball field, roller hockey rink, and shuffleboard, kids of all ages will be entertained.
If you want an “adult only” outing Harry’s Bar at Water Taxi is for you. This late night oasis in Queens has a great view of the Manhattan skyline. If you want to end the summer Jersey Shore style hit up Seaside Heights, you never what reality show stars you might run into.

2.) Coney Island
If you are looking for some classic amusement park fun, a freak show, a boardwalks, or some go old burlesque fun, go check out Coney Island. With fun for kids and adults this could be the perfect end to a great summer.

3.) Day in the Park
If you looking for something to do with out spending tons of cash, spend the day in one of many beautiful parks in NYC. If you are looking to bbq, check out Manhattan’s Riverside Park, located at Riverside Drive, West 135 to West 158 Street. With baseball fields, playgrounds, and spray showers, you are in for a cheap day of fun in the sun. If you want to visit the most known park in the world, pack that picnic, grab some friends, and head to Central Park. With guided tours, dog parks, and carousel, you are sure to enjoy your day.

4.) New York Renaissance Fair
The NY Renaissance Fair is guaranteed fun. Take a stroll back in time through Elizabethan England with 16th Century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music, and dance. For ticket information go to

5) Snout N’ Stout Neighborhood Pig Roast and Sidewalk Party
Go check out this pig roast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Catering company Woody’s Pig Roast is teaming up with Mean Red Productions for a North Carolina style BBQ side walk party. The $23 ticket includes a plate of pork smothered in one of three yummy sauces (NC barbecue, pineapple teriyaki or Cuban mojo) plus coleslaw and your choice of potatoes Caesar or fruit salad. Go to for more info.

6.) Brooklyn County fair
If you’re looking for some less risqué fun that’s suitable for the whole family, head to what’s being dubbed the Brooklyn County Fair: Gowanus Hootenany (388 Carroll St.).
This family-friendly event is set to feature fresh-baked treats, crafts from Etsy, DJs and live music from the Woes, Honne Well and more. Plus, free popsicles for the kids. Can’t beat that.
This is a FREE event. Fun starts at noon. Complete event schedule and details: Brooklyn County Fair: A Gowanus Hootenany

7.) West Indian-American day festival
Returning for the 42nd year, the West Indian-American Day Carnival culminates on Labor Day with a parade that is among the City’s largest. Tens of thousands of spectators lined the parade route along Eastern Parkway, from Rochester Avenue to Grand Army Plaza, to view masqueraders, elaborately designed costumes, live performances and more.

8.) Brooklyn Urban Arts Market
Party and shop at the Brooklyn Urban Arts Market, featuring live music, visual art performances, food from Myrtle Avenue restaurants, and 50 local, DIY vendors selling fashion, art, and accessories. Starts Sunday, Sept. 6th at Myrtle Avenue between Grand Ave. and Emerson Place.

9.) Splish Splash Water Park (Riverhead, Long Island)
Labor Day Weekend is your last chance to take the train to this great water park in Long Island. Splish Splash has 19 water slides, a wave pool, a 1300′ long Lazy River, and more. The park has loads of trees and shady sots plus kiddie areas that have wading pools that are fun for toddlers and little slides that let preschoolers in on the fun. The MTA offers Splish Splash packages that include discounted round-trip rail to/from Ronkonkoma Station, connecting shuttle bus and park admission. Visit the Splish Splash website for more information or call (631) 727-3600. Package Price is: Adult $58.75 Children* (4-11) $46 – Note: kids must be under 48 inches tall.

10.) Shinnecock Pow Wow South Hampton (Shinnecock Reservation, West Gate Road, South Hampton)
This four day harvest festival includes music & dance performances, fire lighting at sunset, demonstrations, foods and native crafts. Admission: Adults: $10 Children: $7 ages 5-12 Seniors: $7 Take the Jitney bus: $10 each plus a short cab ride or take the LIRR which offers a Shinnecock Pow Wow package that includes train, shuttle from train station and festival admissions: $39 for adults & $16 kids. 631-283-6143

Top 10 Places to Watch the 4th of July Fireworks

Posted in Top 10 Lists on June 30th, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Celebrate Independence Day this year by watching the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks. Beginning at approximately 9:20 p.m., Macy’s will have fireworks being released from six barges in the Hudson River. View them while sipping on a cocktail at any of the following:

1. Circle Line Cruises- Pier 83

For $79 tickets, a DJ will provide entertainment and food and drinks will be available for purchase. Call 212-269-5755 or 866-9CLINE1 for reservations or more information.

Circle Line is also hosting a rooftop party at Pier 83. Tickets are $79 for this rooftop BBQ with a live DJ and great fireworks views.

2. Hotel Gansevoort-Plunge Bar & Lounge

You will have to squeeze your way into this rooftop bar but the views of the Hudson and midtown are absolutely amazing. Make your way to the Gansevoort Hotel for an outrageously priced cocktail; views like this don’t come for free, especially in the Meatpacking District. For reservations visit:

3. 230 fifth

A tropical feel rooftop, this sprawling outdoor favorite holds more than 500 people, and its Flatiron locale is perfectly situated in relation to the fireworks display. But due to the magnitude of people expected on July 4, bottle service reservations are recommended. To reserve visit:

4. Boat basin café

For a romantic date night, this outdoor space along the Hudson River is the perfect place. Get there early before the park is swarming with spectators. Visit for information on how to reserve places.

5. The Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar and lounge

This rooftop offers a view that overlooks Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center and the Hudson River, depending on where you’re standing. But even with a space this large (it’s 8,000 square feet), be sure to make a reservation or get there early to stake out a good spot. For reservations, visit:

6. Hudson Sky Terrace

Gorgeous views of the Hudson River and 9th Avenue give this relaxed rooftop oasis atop the Hudson Hotel a chic urban feel. Reservations are a must, especially if you plan to watch the fireworks display. Visit for more information.

7. Hudson Terrace

Located right off the West Side Highway (621 West 46th Street), the Hudson Terrace rooftop will offer panoramic views of the 4th of July fireworks, a BBQ meal, and four hours of top shelf open bar. Ticket packages start at $150, to get yours, visit

8. W Hoboken

For those in New Jersey…The view of the Hudson River and city skyline from the Chandelier Room at this Hoboken hotel is spectacular. Plant yourself on the terrace for the fireworks, and then head inside for light snacks and an assortment of specialty cocktails. Visit for more information.

9. Hudson River Park Greenway

Fireworks will be ignited from six barges positioned along the Hudson River between 24th and 50th streets, illuminating the entire west side skyline. It’s truly spectacular, but be prepared to encounter massive crowds. For a map of the park visit:

10. The USS Intrepid

See the fireworks from the flight deck of the USS Intrepid. Enjoy VIP Viewing on Intrepid’s Flight Deck as well as tour The Intrepid Museum, which will be open exclusively for fireworks guests from 7PM-8:45PM. A  DJ will be entertaining guests and tickets are $100 per person. To purchase tickets, visit