Hotel bars how I love thee

Hey luvs. I am on the train headed to Illadelph to see the fam. I do love
train travel. Find it very relaxing. I had a porter help me with my enormous
suitcase and bypassed the frantic rush for seats. It was divine.

Anyhoo, let's talk hotel bars. I am absolutely stark raving mad for them.
One of my favs of all time was the bar at the old Gramercy before it became
all swish. It was the kind of bar Mrs. Robinson would hang in- it felt
slightly naughty and seedy and oh so lovely. The bartenders were characters
and the cocktail waitresses were mean. I loved it so.

Enter the bar at the Jane Hotel, at the corner of the West Side Highway and
Jane Street in the idyllic West Village. A friend of mine met me there last
night and it did not disappoint. You see, the best hotel bars are the ones
that reside in an establishment with a storied past. The Jane is such a
spot. Apparently it was a flophouse for sailors and their ladies of ill
repute. Gotta love that,right?

Now it is much more trendy but still feels very old world, if not a bit
seedy. There is also an outpost of the lovely Café Gitane there as well.The
bell hop actually wears a bell hop uniform from back in the day, and once
you enter the bar, you immediately know you are in a place steeped in
classic New York weirdness. I love this place. Did I mention they'll rent
you a room for 99 bucks? You should go to there.

They play great music of the new wave and rock oddity variety. And they make
a nice whiskey sour. Next time I'm in NYC, let's meet there, capiche?

And that's what's up this train travelin' Thursday en route to the 215.

Ah, the Met

I mean...

The Met does it for me. Every time. I sauntered uptown in the rain this
morning, hangover in tow, and ruined my new shoes. Oh well. Merde.

Upon entering the Met I forgot about all of that. The Met is a powerful
thing to me- I discover something new every time and for that I am thankful
for its existence. I went up to see the Costume Show on the American Woman
as well as the Picasso retrospective. I was not disappointed.

Picasso show was amazing. I must admit- I am more a fan of the life and
lusts of Picasso than I have ever been of his work. Yes he was beyond a
genius, but he doesn't make my soul sing. I will say the linocuts were
incredible- had never seen his linoleum pieces before and I surely love
them. That was a treat.

The costume show was gorgeous, but had some issues in my mind. The show went
from about 1840-1940 and traced the lineage of fashion "types" over that
period from the heiress to the Gibson Girl to the Flapper to the Suffragette
to the screen siren with more in between I'm sure. The clothes were
surprisingly fresh in feel- in particular the gowns of Charles James and
Madame Gres were beyond. What sort of bugged me was the weird timeframe
(kind of a chopped up period- what happened after 1940- I would make a case
that the 60s were an incredibly liberating period for women in particular)
and the text accompanying the show- basically that the American woman is
slim and athletic, with the exception of the screen siren who is somewhat
curvier- the text claims these are the two fashion prototypes to this day.
Hmm. I think there is so much in between but understand this is fashion yet
still...still. The use of film incorporated throughout was nice though- as
well as the wild wigs of Julien D'Ys on the mannequins.

What was also beyond was strolling through the Met and falling back in love
with Impressionism and traditional figurative portrait painting in general.
I am so obsessed with l'arte moderne these days, I've simply forgotten how
much I love Manet and Matisse and am beyond fond of Alfred Steven's amazing
"In the Studio". (See attached). It's so stunning and gorgeous and makes me
well up a bit. In the midst of all of this newfangled techy stuff, I again
go back to the classics that made me love art in the first place as a young
girl. I am not sure anything can rival that feeling of strolling casually through
the Met by oneself- it's a simple pleasure but one I can do over and over
again. I also love the suits of armor and love the medieval collections.
Spending the day at the Met is like seeing your dearest BF. Always a
gorgeous pleasure. And that's what's up this Wednesday night, my last night
in NY for the moment. Off to Philly tomorrow.


Inspiration is Everywhere

Well it is in New York, anyway.

So I have loads to say on the city- the shopping, the insane coolness of the
Ace Hotel, the wacky iron or fiberglass anthropomorphism perched
precariously around Madison Square Park in the form of naked male statues by
Antony Gormley. It's all too much and it's wonderful and I'm overwhelmed but
shall post about these things and more at some point.

However, let's talk about my feet. My aching freaking feet. I've been an
avid indoor cyclist and yoga devotee for some time now, as well as a regular
flip flop wearer. Some chicks won't go out without heels- I am quite the
opposite. The flatter the shoe the better for me. I love to feel grounded I
suppose. And I'm a tragic klutz.

But back to the feet. I'm walking around New York like an old bag. It's sad.
I have been looking for comfortable shoes forever now and can't find
anything I like. At all. I have an aversion to wearing sneakers outside of
the gym. It all stems from a French boyfriend in the college days who told
me it was tacky for women to wear sneakers. Sacre bleu...what's a girl to

I disagree, however. A lot of chicks look mad cute in kicks. Just not this
gal. I can't pull it off. I feel like a clown. I even bought a chic, slim
pair of Y3's and still feel so not right in them. I then bought some soft
Dr. Scholl's jobs and they still hurt too. Then I bought these really cool
Bass oxfords, which are marginally better, but still not quite there.

Which brings me to yesterday. I got my hair cut (and I mean CUT) at my fav
spot in town with the best girls- Siobhan for cut and Ellie for color over
at Arrojo Studios on Varick (big ups to those two. I love them to death).

I'm sitting there with a glaze on my head when I spy a killer pair of white
leather moccasins on a girl getting her foils taken out in the shampoo bowl
next to me. I'm staring and practically drooling on them so much so that she
shoots me a nervous look. I tell her I am mad for the mocs and ask where she
got them. She whispered it to me (think I was intruding a bit) and all I
caught is they were custom made in Vancouver. That's all I needed really.
We have Google forensics to thank because I immediately typed in "Moccassins
Vancouver" as soon as I got home. And there they were.

Enter Ken Diamond and his amazing mocs, all custom made in Vancouver and
constructed of either deer leather (the Koko) or elk leather (the Thomme).
Sorry PETA.

These suckers are so cute I could die. And they look comfy beyond belief. I
know they offer no real support but still... I keep picturing them with
skinny jeans, shorts, mini dresses, ethnic tunics- you name it. These may
make my feet very happy. They will not make my wallet ecstatic though. After
all, hand braided kangaroo laces don't come cheap, bebes. We're talking
about $425. But they are all custom and handmade and take about a month to
craft. Love that. Love things made by hand. And love the fact that in New
York, you can find things that inspire you while straining your neck in a
shampoo bowl. Inspiration is everywhere here- that's why New York is "New
York" my lovelies. You only need to look around and BOOM.

And that's what's afoot this cloudy, chilly, and painful Tuesday in
Manhattan. XO

For more looks at the mocs and the other handcrafted leather candy of Ken
Diamond go to

Here's what happiness is

A great class at Soul Cycle this am with a bunch of very cool chicks
A long walk back downtown accompanied by classic Wu on the Ipod
Add a picture perfect spring day in New York avec blue skies and sunshine
A toasted bialy with whitefish salad eaten (more like inhaled) in under a

These are the good things. Simple things, but the best things.

There really is nothing more fun than walking around NY with your Ipod and
sunglasses on, staring at all the amazing characters that make this city
second to none. I could have walked for miles...and there's many more miles
to walk and I couldn't be happier. Can't wait for more. Bring it. XO

Live! From New York!

Hiya...blogging from my cab. Fastest baggage claim ever. Loves it. Wrote
this post on the plane...enjoy- wheeeeeeee:

Very excited about this trip to New's a cool one because I am
completely and totally on vacation- leaving this fair town broke my heart
many years ago, but I think I can actually go there now and not scheme or
angle or hustle to get back there- this is kind of a first for me- just
enjoying the city in all its glory and not thinking about why the hell I
left in the first place. I'm pretty happy these days amidst the palm trees
and the ocean and the extraordinary closets and SPACE. I am not sure I could
trade that at this point in my fair existence. But as I sit here on the
plane, listening to a little R. Kelly "Happy People" and smiling as the
skyline fast approaches, I still feel like a giddy little kid when I think
about seeing all my friends, all my favorite stores and art spots, all my
favorite bagel joints, and just soaking in the energy that is New York in
all its glory...for some reason I am craving a good old fashioned night out
in the NY- dancing to old school and getting sweaty and not giving a crap
what anyone thinks. That's definitely on the agenda.

I am also going to do my usual course of soul cycling, excruciating core
fusioning, and carbo loading on bagels and pizza to make it all for naught.
I am also beyond excited that my favorite hairdresser on earth is back in
New York where she belongs, and am looking forward to some heavenly meals in
spite of the inevitable spin classes and core fusion.

Whenever I land in the NY, I feel like a hopped up chicken- literally
bouncing out of the airport and running to get going and keep going. I am
sure I will run on over to the Calypso outlet and walk around the old
neighborhood- I will remember all the fun times David and I had living in
Soho- wish he was here with me for all of this, but new job and such
prevented it. I can't wait till this bird lands and I can get going on my
adventures in Manhattan. If you are in town, please let's hang out and shop
and libate and converse. I can't wait to see you NY. Hope you are ready for
me. XO

For those of you who know not what I speak of...




Iconic Gentlemen

It's Friday and I've got a nasty cold and a room full of tissues and
Sucrets. In any event, short and sweet today, kiddies, short and sweet.
Check out these classic stars of the screen (Grant, Flynn, Bogie, and
Newman) that most certainly fit the bill of all things gentleman. Don't you
just love them? Have a wonderful weekend- let's fete the gentleman this weekend and raise
our julep cups to him and all he stands for. And that's what's up this
sniffly Friday this last day of April in Miami. XO

Long live the Calling Card

Happiest of Thursdays, ladies and gents. Today on the quest for all things
gentleman, let's discuss the calling card, and let's bring it back.

Back in the day before Facebook and what have you, a gentleman would leave a
lady with a simple calling card- all you need is your name and phone number
and anything else you'd like to put that makes this card your very own paper
version of social networking. Obviously you want to go with a quality stock,
and I prefer a more vintage look- but you can personalize at will and make
this little card all you.

I can't think of a cooler way to let a lady know you are interested in her
company than handing her a card with your name and number on it. Not only
does this flip the script in terms of who calls who first (a relief beyond
belief), but it's also a way to show you have some values and manners and
above all, gentlemanly good taste. I've attached some examples of some nice
ones, but also putting a link below to an excellent article about calling
card etiquette and a fascinating history of said card.

I find it quite charming and yes, it's old fashioned, but in a really lovely
way. The calling card is different than the business card as its really just
about you as a person and less about your hedge fund or publishing career.
The calling card is polite and simple and I for one am calling for a return
to this very cool way to send a message that you would like to get to know
someone better. In terms of closing the deal, you're on your own for that.

Here's an excerpt from the article from The Art of Manliness site:

19th Century Calling Card Etiquette

The giving and receiving of calling cards developed a very elaborate set of
rituals and rules that every gentleman tried to master. While one¹s modern
sensibilities might find these rigid formalities laughable, I¹ve got to say
there¹s a certain appeal to it. Far more dignified than poking someone on
Facebook, wouldn¹t you say?. Just in case you step through a time warp and
land in the 19th century, here¹s your calling card etiquette survival guide.

On a first visit to a household, a gentleman gave one card to each lady of
the house.
A married man had a medium sized card, while an unmarried man had a smaller
card. Men¹s cards were always smaller than women¹s.
When calling upon the lady of the house, if she was not home, but her
daughter was, the gentleman sent in his card and departed, as it was not
usual for a young lady to receive calls from a gentleman unless they were
very intimate friends.
Special significance was given to the turning down of the card¹s corners:

A visit in person (as opposed to being sent by a servant): the right hand
upper corner
A congratulatory visit: the left hand upper corner
A condolence visit: the left hand lower corner
Taking leave (if you were going on a long trip): right hand lower corner
If there were two of more ladies in the household, the gentleman turned down
a corner of the card to indicate that the call was designed for the whole
Initialing a calling card
Gentleman would also inscribe initials upon the card to denote the reason
for his visit. The initials stood for the following French words:

p. f. ­ congratulations (pour féliciter)
p. r. ­ expressing one¹s thanks (pour remercier)
p. c. ­ mourning expression (pour condoléance)
p. f. N. A. ­ Happy New Year (pour feliciter Nouvel An)
p. p. c. ­ meaning to take leave (pour prendre congé)
p. p. ­ if you want to be introduced to anybody, send your visiting card
(pour présenter)

The full article link is below...enjoy- and that's where the card falls this
cloud filled Thursday in Miami. XO

Love the ponies. And their beverages too.

Hey, chickens. Happy Wednesday. So the Derby is upon us- and the Kentucky
Derby is a full on gentlemanly affair. (And for the ladies, no better
opportunity for a fancy hat and pretty dress so we all win I suppose). It is
steeped in a stable's worth of tradition, romance, and intrigue. And it's
one hell of a party besides.

Anyhoo, I've discussed how a true gentleman knows how to make the most
perfect bourbon and water. But maybe we should have him make us a mint julep
in honor of the Derby, and this my friends, is a true art. As I am a bit of
a stickler for authenticity, I went right the source, the official Kentucky
Derby website and found the real deal Holyfield recipe. This is it- note the
use of Early Times- it's an important step as is the silver cup (pictured):

Early Times Mint Julep

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes.
Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh
mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a
julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces
of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the
outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

I love how you start making this cocktail the night before, so plan
accordingly and maybe sleep in the night before, as tomorrow's juleps will
surely knock you on your derriere. And that's why I'm providing this today
so you can start preparing (you're welcome). And in case you were wondering
it's been said by some old Southern lieutenant type that the julep is "the
quintessence of gentlemanly beverages". (Said by one Lt. Gen. S.B. Buckner,
Jr., who most certainly opened the door for a lady or two in his time). As I
am dans l'amour with gentlemanly quintessence these days, I'll be toasting
you all this weekend with a few of these refreshing libations as the bugle
sounds the call to the post. And they're offfffff...

Oh and if you're a bit of a cocktail history savant, check out the Derby
site for all the facts on all things julep. Love the letter from the Lt.
General on how to make a proper julep. GENIUS.

And that's what's up this horsey and now thirsty Thursday in April. XO