Since 1999, Girls Inc. of NYC's annual College Shower has honored participants who have graduated from high school and are making the transition to college. The event showcases the new grads' achievements and celebrates the young women with their family, friends, and other supporters. Each recent graduate also receives a duffle bag packed with college-dorm-life essentials, including USB drives, power strips, a shower caddie, sheets, towels, and an alarm clock (a $180 value).
Founded more than 25 years ago, The Original SoupMan has earned a reputation for hearty deli offerings and delicious gourmet soups cooked in small batches with fresh ingredients. Though soups change daily, slurpers are guaranteed a seafood, vegetarian, spicy chili, and clear-broth variety to lubricate squeaky windpipes. Sample a tasty vessel filled with 100% North Atlantic lobster bisque ($5.99 cup, $7.99 bowl), or properly attire tongues for seasonal flavors such as Italian sausage, chicken chili, and Cuban black bean. The Original SoupMan also proffers toasted sandwiches, such as the Penn Station, extra lean corned beef, pastrami and melted Swiss cheese topped with coleslaw and Russian dressing ($6.99). A selection of salads comes in signature ($6.99) or side portions ($2.99), and the create-your-own-salad option provides a three-topping palette to artistic types ($5.99). Larger soup keepsakes are available in quarts for at-home consumption or bathtub goulash fights ($24). For those soupsters who follow his strict rules, The Original SoupMan supplies a reward of bread, a piece of chocolate, and a sudden desire to watch Murphy Brown.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts program creates opportunities for donors to purchase specific lifesaving items, such as blankets, mosquito nets, and therapeutic milk, which are then shipped to children in more than 150 countries. Through its Inspired Gifts program, UNICEF aims to provide immunization kits filled with 20 doses of the tetanus vaccine, 20 doses of the polio vaccine, and 10 doses of the measles vaccine to mothers and children, in an effort to reduce the destructive capacity of those diseases across the globe. Each kit travels to its destination in a cold carrier box to maintain the appropriate temperature, and costs $20.
Although many would envy the fame and clout of New York City’s mayor, the true power of Manhattan lies in the crown of its Brisket King. Each year, contestants from local restaurants and upstate farms compete for the title during a barbecue cook-off judged by celebrity chefs and brisket experts, vying for top honors as they roast tender cuts of beef from their unique recipes. All the while, attendees sample the succulent meats and sip libations from a bar stocked with everything from beer to “Bullshot,” a cocktail of vodka-infused brisket juice. To crown the champion, a panel of qualified judges decide the winner, relying on their expertise in distinguishing a basket of perfectly cooked brisket from a plate of steamed broccoli.