A birthday post from the birthday girl

Good morning, Wednesday. No way around it- today's my birthday. And I'm feeling the feels.

Supposedly some craziness in Capricorn is making me emotional and I'll admit- I'm a bit of a puddle today. Not sad, necessarily. Just emotional.  I hate the cliche of being introspective on one's birthday, but it's unavoidable. One thing that keeps coming up for me is the notion of nurture. Or what it means to feel nurtured.

For me, nurturing myself always meant buying myself lovely clothes, shoes, skincare. It could also mean drinking too much or eating too much or indulging just too much I have always been a bit of a hedonist/pleasure-seeker so that's a slippery slope for me. Because true nourishment/nurturing of body and soul comes from taking care of yourself. And when you start eating right, for instance, it may feel like deprivation but it's really what you need to feel your best and be your best. And the constant bombardment of Instagram and Amazon Prime Day and an endless loop of emails promoting a hyper manic sales cycle, you can't help but feel manipulated by all of the messaging.  Like, maybe I really do need those Gucci shoes. Because they're discounted.  And yea, you should buy the shoes sometimes. But not all the time. For me to feel nurtured, it's not about having less a la Marie Kondo, it's just about spending less and having more time, money, and security. That's real nourishment. This is the shit you realize as you get older. Wild, right? Maybe I really don't need to be the girl with the most cake...

They say your cells and wiring change every 7 years. I'm at the end of a pivotal 7-year cycle and I can absolutely feel the changes coming. It's almost a non-negotiable now to live a more authentic life. And some lifestyle changes come with that. As do staff changes. I can no longer tolerate people that deplete me. There are levels of course. But I have to honor the fact that I'm an empathic, highly sensitive woman. And when those frequencies battle my own, see ya. I can't. And I won't. 

I've been dedicated to writing my own stuff more and more and that will be a huge focus for me for the next several years and beyond. I've broken ground on a whole new website/blog and I'll be sharing that with all of you come September. I'm feeling great about all of this and am strong in my intentions.

When I'm on a mission, I'm on a mission. And my friends, I am on a major mission.  Change is always scary for me but when I'm ready, I'm ready. I've ripped off a ton of band-aids this year. And now it's time to heal. Very grateful for this chance, and this time of life. I've never felt more connected to my deepest, happiest self. HIppie shit or no hippie shit it's true. I like to think that this year, blowing out the candles means more than wishing for something new- it means blowing out the old stuff I don't need to clear the way for moving forward.

Oh and here are a few things about my style that I'm seeing as the clock nears 50. (Not there yet. Yikes. Almost). Let's call this section "not intos" as in "no longer into it".  I think there are so many rules we subscribe to women of a certain age, and I'm having none of them. You'll see what I mean:

I'm not into high heels. I haven't been in a long time but those days are long gone. Long. I need to feel like I can move, run, and above all, be comfortable. That's that.

I'm not into anything overly dainty. It's funny- I've always loved very dainty jewelry and although I still wear my tiny star of David every day, I'm into bigger pieces of jewelry. Not more expensive, that's not what I'm staying. Just larger in scale, substantial if you will. That's where I'm at. Dainty feels too much like a little girl right now. And I'm far from that place.

I'm not into shapeless clothes. There was a time over the past several years that I wore clothes that felt potato-sack like. I'm talking to you, COS and stores of that ilk. I know when women get older, they tend to gravitate towards this look, and it is extremely chic. But because of my rebellious nature, I'm going the other way. I'm wearing shorter things. I'm wearing more body-skimming things. I'm into looks that feel a little sexier somehow and show the shape, and more importantly, honor the body I'm in.  That's what I'm in the mood for, and it has little to do with being skinny, fat, or anything else. I'm just in the mood for less Eastern bloc attire.  This is counter to what most people tell you about getting older but screw 'em. I still love some kaftan realness, though. Don't worry. I'm not crazy.

I'm not into shrinking violets. I know this may be hard for you to believe. But truth be told, I'm shy. Very. Lately, I've been feeling the need to not shy away from how I am feeling. To advocate for what I think is right and fair. Oh, and to dye my hair bright red. That too. Loud and proud I guess. That's where I am. Because of that, I do retreat from time to time. But I'm a Cancer. That's just what we do.

I'm not into rules. I love clothes. I always will. But I hate formality. And it's getting worse as I get older. I hate a fussy hairdo. I hate anything that is too "just right". I like things a little messy. Much like life. And when it comes to formal occasions, I'm going default style. A tuxedo jacket and pants. A simple dress. That's it. Keeping it simple when it comes to formal times. And then going big whenever the heck I feel like it. Like a Simone Rocha tulle dress with my Gazelles. That kind of thing. I'm into that. 

So that's my birthday post for you. Onward and such. Busy day today. Looking forward to celebrating with pals tonight at a favorite old haunt. Thanks for all the bday wishes. Love to you all and thanks for being in my life. Cause that's what's up this blowing out the candles kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in onward marching, with a bit of Alice in Wonderland because I remain "curiouser" and "curiouser" for what's to come. XO






Can powerful women be stylish? It's complicated ( or is it?).

Good morning, Thursday. I'm in an office in a caftan and I'm a-ok with that.

Which got me to thinking- the way we dress. For work. Such a thing. A recent Facebook debate on a friend's page inspired me to write this post about how we focus so much on the way women look. We're fixated on it. You know why? Because the way women look is super intriguing. And why should we take that away?

Now listen up. Lest you think I'm being anti-feminist, I am not in any way. I am not saying the way women look should be some sort of harsh judgment or should overpower a conversation on competence, intelligence, or general awesomeness. Not at all. But as someone who loves clothes and has pathologically studied style my entire life, I'm not favoring drab clothing just to be taken seriously. F that.  And if I want to make a statement, I'll make a statement. And I'm self-aware enough to take risks from time to time. That's just my vibe. Like the office caftan for instance. I'm owning it.  Yea I am a creative professional which allows me greater freedom and for that, I am extraordinarily grateful.

But I digress.  Let's talk about women in politics. AOC's red lip for one. Or the white caped look she wore to the State of the Union. That was intentional. Very intentional. And that red lip is not a shrinking violet move. To me, it says take me seriously, lipstick and all. She owns her ideals and her look and that's fantastic.  Why do we have .to deny our femininity to be taken seriously? Elizabeth Warren's no-nonsense style suits her just perfectly. Because she's a no-nonsense kind of woman and that's that.  And Kamala's style suits her too- strong, confident, don't fuck with me, fellas. More of that.

Further, the women's soccer team. I happened to watch the awards ceremony on TV (where our mayor cheaply inserted himself into the conversation around pay as he also reminded us of his Presidential run- #cheapshot) where that amazing group of ladies celebrated in ripped up jeans and tee shirts. Later on, the ESPYs were broadcast, and these girls were glam to death. Megan Rapinoe, my new girl crush (me and everyone else) was wearing the lowest blazer with nothing underneath and looked sexy as hell. And I loved it. All the girls came out to the yard and showed that they can be confident, strong, and stylish. Some more traditionally feminine, some less so, but all 100% woman. I can't even handle how inspiring those women are. Get off your ass, pro soccer and pay them NOW.

People always say why don't they talk about the way the men look when it comes to politics? Well, I say give us something to talk about. I think the whole point of politics on the male side is to look kind of middle of the road- not too flashy or "too" anything really. Beto's casualness is a nod to Obama's cool swagger, but really not so interesting. People say Obama had style, to me he had swag. The most stylish male president of all time was absolutely JFK. Hands down. If men in politics are judged more for their character, it's because they don't put fashion first.  I don't want to stereotype and say women do all of the time, but what's wrong with those of us that really like clothes and expressing ourselves through how we look? Not a damn thing.

I know this is a time for women to be unhinged and unnerved and pissed off. I'm mad too. Beyond mad. But I also think it's ok for women to acknowledge that style and dress and the way we look is important. If we want it to be. And that doesn't take anything away from the other stuff. Because today's women are the full package. Whether in Louboutins or Nikes or anything in between. 

Let's not squash that. And if people want to talk about how we look, let them. We'll be busy kicking ass and taking names. See ya on the other side. Now, where's my lipstick?

Cause that's what's up this turned out kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in best dressed and saluting women of all shapes, sizes, and styles. XO







Maven recommends: The best bathing suits at the very best prices

Good morning, Wednesday. I'm still under the duvet for the first time in a while. It feels very nice to stay under the covers for an extra hour. It's the little things.

So if you're like me, you like Summer enough but hate bathing suits. I have never understood how walking around in basically your bra and underwear is somehow ok at the beach but not in real life. Personally, I prefer a bra and underwear to a bathing suit but that's just me. And I haven't worn a bikini since childhood basically. So there.

Bathing suits have always cost me a tremendous amount of money. As somebody who's got a real body to contend with (boobs and the like), I find it challenging to find suits that suit. My default is usually Malia Mills, whose suits can cost 300 bucks or more. That's obscene. And I wasn't ready to pony up this Summer anything near that amount. For a simple look like my friend Jane Birkin wore so iconically above, why spend so much?

So I frantically searched the internet, looking for bathing suits that were sensibly sexy and not Bubby-like. I would rather eat my own flesh than wear a bathing suit with any kind of skirt or any kind of matronly festoonery.  I go to too many barre classes for that thank you very much. And those ridiculous "miracle" suits are more house of horrors than miraculous. Think ill-fitting sausage casing. No thank you.

So it was with great glee that I came across some really, really wonderful options at (wait for it) H&M. Yes, you heard me.

For me to spend less than 50 bucks on a bathing suit is a complete revelation. So on a total lark, I ordered 7 suits, and spent about 200 bucks or so, thinking I'd have a shot at maybe one or two of them looking good. 

When they arrived, all 7 looked pretty great, and I'm keeping them all. I was shocked. It's true I tend to wear only black bathing suits, sometimes brown, but mostly black or navy. These suits fit well, were super comfortable, and I was absolutely thrilled. Bonus for my leopard caftan score. At under 30 bucks, I'm over the moon to have such a chic option to cover up for such a low price. Genius.

So as summer is in full swing and you need to pick up a suit or two, absolutely check the stock at H&M.  Who knows how long they will hold up, but who cares really? A season or two is just fine by me at that price.

Here are my top three picks in the one piece category.

This ruffled girl is mad cute. I got it in black but love the paisley too.

This wrap reminds me of 70s Norma Kamali suits which is a very good thing- layer with a gold coin necklace and instant chic. Great for girls with boobs too. Love.

I didn't get this one but love a brown bathing suit because I do have a serious thing for 70s vibes at the beach. A brown suit is so pretty against golden skin. In love with the simple shape. Pretty cute in the polka dot version too. Cheap enough to buy both.

So go forth and Summer it up. But first, get a new bathing suit. One that doesn't make you cry, because it looks great and it's priced right. 

Cause that's what's up this well suited Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in looking forward to beach week. XO





In praise of the Summer job. Is it a thing of the past?

Greetings, Monday. I hope you had a lovely long weekend. Mine was a bit of a mixed bag but glad to have had some time to recoup and regroup. 

So was watching CNN's movie special last night which looked at movies from the 80s and 90s, with many sitting squarely in the teen genre. As a child who grew up on a steady diet of those, I loved the look back.  And as they were showing a clip from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", I began to think about something. Whatever happened to the Summer job?

Back before college, I had many Summer jobs. There was my Summer as a telemarketer. That was a bit of a bust but I was a high performer and actually talked to someone from Def Leppard on the phone, who flirted with me incessantly. It was, of course, possible he was not with the band, in case you were wondering.

Then I worked in a few clothing stores, though my favorite Summer job was most definitely my BS guard duty at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. That was a weekend-long music event where you camped and drank and smoked and enjoyed. If you "worked" the weekend, you could get in for free. So my friend Bev and I had a really difficult job. Guarding the gate to enter the campgrounds. By gate, I mean small footbridge. And by job, I mean drinking beer and smoking Marlboro Reds all day and Lord knows what else.  That's a true story, We sucked at that job. Who knows the number of ruffians that got in for free on our dime.

But I digress. Because shows like "Stranger Things" are showing what it was like yet again to be a kid in the 80s. And we all had Summer jobs. Most of my dude friends delivered pizza. One girl my sister's age cut Flashdance sweatshirts at the local record and jeans shop. A few of my friends worked in restaurants as hostesses (that, ps, was my college gig straight through to graduation). Some of them were camp counselors (never my jam) or mother's helpers (summerish nannies who would accompany a family to the shore). And of course, if you were lucky enough to be "down the shore" all Summer, you'd get a job at the amusement park or water ice stand or on the beach. None of these jobs were high paying. But they offered a sense of purpose and socializing and that was all good.  I think about the kids of today and wonder where their work ethic went, or whether their parents thought such jobs were beneath little Atticus or Persephone.

Not the case.

Because as I was getting dressed this morning, I was listening to NPR, who had a story on about this specific thing. Summer jobs. The fact is, after the recession, a lot of kids stopped looking for work in the Summer. And many ended up focusing on academics by engaging in school programs to get extra credit or a better shot at getting into a good college. 

But for me, I loved having some pizza fry pocket money in the warmer months. And I still got to work on my tan because the time commitment was not insane. There's just something about your first few jobs in life that really mean something. They're not indicators of any career path most likely. But they do give you a sense of what it's like to deal with people, be responsible, and even brush (phone) shoulders with a maybe rock star.  And now that I think about it, it seems a pretty good idea to open a record and jeans shop now. Who's with me?

Anyway, I was just thinking about this particular rite of passage and was wondering if it's reached extinction. Apparently, companies like McDonald's and Taco Bell are accepting applications aka "snaplications" on Snapchat, so I guess it's still around or a scant workforce is making it so as employers struggle to fill open jobs.  What were your favorite or most miserable Summer jobs and why?  Reach out and tell me.

Summer summer jobs it wouldn't be Summer without them. Cause that's what's up this odd job kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in seasons past. XO


Don't be afraid of your freedom: The Midlife Edition

Good morning, Wednesday. Happy pre-4th to all my patriots out there. Let's remember what's great about this country- we've always been an optimistic lot after all.

So I had a meeting at a we workspace this am and noticed, as I often do of late, that I was the oldest person in the elevator. 

That in itself is not strange. But what's odd to me is the very notion of boutique firms, start-up companies, or small but mighty brands are not only staffed by young people but started by young people. I'm not sure why innovation is a young person's game. 

Take the first dot com boom of the 90s. I was a young chick in New York, working in advertising way back then, everyone was a good deal older than me who had any power. And I appreciated that. The C Suite was full of people over 40, and it was good. And then to the left of me was an entire startup culture, brimming to the surface of New York work life in a way none of us had ever seen.

Admittedly, the whole vibe was exciting. It was the early days of the internet, and it felt like anything was possible. But I will never forget going to some rising, sexy dot com party, surrounded by children drinking from some luge, and I thought, hm. This won't last. Sure there were cute people. And yes the ping pong tables and perks were enticing. But the places were being run by children. And as someone who worked at big Madison Avenue ad agencies, this all felt childish to me. Somehow in my mind, I knew these newbies were going to crash and burn. And they did. 

Cut to now. The startup culture is thriving. The gig economy is keeping many of us alive. There is a whole new way to think about work/life as many telecommute, cowork, and Skype their way through the day. I love this. I think the evolution of work is beyond exciting and here's the difference from the first iteration of it I referenced above- I'm ready for it.

Let me start by saying as I've said many times, I have no issue working with young people, whose ideas and idealism and cultural relevance are vast. But when a culture or company is in its infancy, you know what's often missing? Experience. 

That's what muddied the waters in the 90s. And as I stood in that elevator this am, that's what's wrong right now. Imagine if all of us in Gen X and beyond started new ventures. Solo or together. There'd be no stopping us. I'm sure of it.  Think of all the awesome stuff you've done. Imagine how valuable that can be when in the right place. A friend of mine is going for a big job at a big corporation, and all I can think about is how brilliant he is and why he's not using his powers for good to do his own thing. It seems sad to me, given that most of those big jobs come with a mark on your head and a two-year shelf life. You know it's true.

So as we celebrate our freedom and independence, riddle me this, friends of a certain age. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and poke holes. Say you need a steady income and a big office and staff. I'll shoot you right down.

Because if you are feeling edged out of your chosen industry because you have crow's feet, consider DIYing the crap out of your career. Start your own thing. Join boards of companies just starting out and show them the way. Go freelance and never look back. Hopefully, you realize that one of the great gifts of working for 15 plus years means you have great connections and compadres. Now is the time to use them. Start with me. How can I help?

Don't let some asshole eye your corner office. Create your own. Oh, ye tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Get off your butts and start something. I'll be here to collaborate. And hopefully at some point, I'll be in an elevator in a random we work building, and I won't be the only person who knows the theme song to "Laverne and Shirley". Go forth,  my friends. Let's take matters into our own capable hands and create new enterprises together. That's the real American way.  Last time I checked there was no expiration date on that.

Cause that's what's up this let freedom ring as you free yourself up to the possibilities kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in wanna be startin' something. XO




The crime of passion and why I need calm.

Good morning, Friday. TGIF my pals.

So last night was the second night of the Dem debates, and they got me thinking.

The playing field is insanely crowded, and we are living in crazy times, but between my constant watching of CNN and all the candidates trying to out 'splain each other, I'm exhausted. Everybody's yelling, and nobody's saying anything. I love how fired up Elizabeth Warren is and appreciate her conviction and planning, but stop screaming at me. Kamala, I love you and want you to rip Trump's face off at the debate, but wow, you're intense. And Bernie, the dandruff on the shoulders was far from a good look, and your angry Brooklyn finger wagging I did not find charming last election, and I find it less attractive now. 

And yea, I know. We don't need charm to fight the Old Yeller in chief. But can we have a little calm? Just a little quiet, studied, well-mannered sanity? Being passionate is becoming offensive to me. Because this landscape feels like rage vs. passion and I'm just craving a different style of communicating. We need to evolve past this current model of this frothy-mouthed, cuckoo town. I keep waiting for someone to have a heart attack on stage. 

That's why I was so enamored of Pete Buttigieg last night. His answers were cool, calm, and collected without being arrogant, cavalier, or dismissive. He was not asleep at the wheel. He is just someone who exudes grace under pressure and I admire that.  He's passionate but collected. More of that, please. Less of candidates and pundits gone wild. 

As someone who had a stressful career path as a producer for a long time, I always approached my work with calm or tried to. Because I realized panic spreads quickly and I was the one people were looking to solve problems. And I wanted to keep it cool. Even when my insides were on fire from stress. I don't like people that spread anxiety or yell too much. They are not my tempo and they never will be. 

Thing is Trump's fear mongering is a style I can't stomach. And now the Dems are yelling too, and everyone's screaming and I want to return to civility. I so appreciate Pete waiting his turn last night and not getting blinded by Biden's sparkly shark teeth. I have my eye on Pete, and I just wanted to mention it. This is not a political post- but more about my feelings and that I want calm in the storm. It's refreshing and beautiful and grounding. 

So I'm dedicating this weekend to some much-needed calm. Fighting fire with fire is debilitating. Cause that's what's up this keeping calm and thinking about 2020 kind of Friday in the 718. Yours, in steady as we go. XO

It's time for advertising to grow up: Marketers I'm talking to you

Good morning, Friday. Thank goodness.

So everyone's in Cannes this week for the big advertising equivalent of the Oscars, and even though I spent a lifetime in advertising and also produced some award-winning work, I have never been to Cannes. And I don't mind. At all. As a non-joiner, self-congratulatory pats on the back mixed with too much rose and endless debating on what's next is not my tempo. And that's ok with me.

But as someone who's watching the industry a bit from afar these days, I'm still bugged by the ageism conundrum. And although I've reset my compass as a writer and am busier than I've been in a long time (knock wood), I'm still a little pissy about advertising and how it relates to anyone over 35.  So put down your rose and let me explain.

Yesterday I was talking to an old pal I met years ago at a conference. He's considering a job pretty high up in the car space.  As a top-shelf marketer, he'll have to figure out how to get more people on board with this brand.  And of course, all anyone wants to know is who is this generation behind millennials, and how do we grab their attention? And for the five millennials who love cars and want to buy them how do we hit a home run with them when it comes to messaging? Why try so hard to always to capture the same same when it comes to eyeballs and audiences? There's a whole damn world out there. Isn't it high time to stop chasing the dragon?

 Sure some brands are meant for young people. But does EVERY brand have to target the same demographic solely? I just don't get it. It seems so bloody shortsighted given that, according to the US Department of Labor, "Gen X outspends all other generations when it comes to clothing, housing, eating out and entertainment." Not to mention boomers who have always been known to wield a ton of spending power. I can only speak for my generation in saying if brands are looking to build lifelong customers and fans, why do they always dump the generation they so badly chase when they are finally old enough to buy stuff? Crazy to me. I recall being the coveted demographic for a moment, only to be dumped by the next pretty young thing. You want my loyalty? Where's yours?

As for said loyalty,  I can count them on the one hand, and at the time of this post, I can only think of one- Apple.  My first computer experience was on the very first Apple, and I've been loyal ever since. But when it comes to things like makeup or clothes, I am not wearing the same eyeshadow brand I wore at 16. Nor am I wearing Guess jeans at this stage in the game. When will marketers wake up and realize that building eternal flames of fandom is a pipe dream and that with our collectively lowered attention spans and choices gone wild, they should focus less on generational marketing and more on insight around universal human truths? 

Just yesterday, Adweek published a piece on changing gender norms thanks to (wait for it) young people, with the following quote:

"Simply put, it’s time for brands to be as brave and real as Gen Z is." OMG.

Yes, there are opportunities in gender-neutral spaces. Yes, we love the inclusivity of the body positive movement. Yes, I love these kids for speaking out and being heard. But can't that be for everyone? Surely it's more than Gen Z that craves bravery and authenticity. Surely. People have been fighting for that for years. Talk to all of us. Not just some of us.

Further, if ad agencies were hiring more people 40+, perhaps strategy for how to sell products and services would look a little bit different. More inclusive. Less pet rock and more long term. Insights that cross generations. Truths about the human condition vs. just chasing the latest jail bait. The only way real insight can occur is if you've been on this Earth for a considerable stretch.

That's not to say there are distinct differences in life stages and states and of course we can't ignore that. But we must extend the invitation for "must haves"  from the high and low to have a broader appeal for the rest of us. That's smart marketing. And why brands aren't talking to people past a certain age is just plain stupidity. I should know. I buy more shit than anyone.

We will always be enchanted by youth and with good reason. I respect and adore what young people are doing to change the way we think, but there's plenty of people doing great shit past some perceived expiration date.  We deserve the courtesy of acknowledgment that we are still very much alive, and our wallets are proof that there is indeed still a pulse when it comes to our spending power. Stop trying to court demographics that don't even want to date you.  It's not cute anymore.

Cause that's what's up this ranty, rainy Friday in the 212. Yours, in X marking the spot and just saying no to ageism. Don't you forget about us. XO





Me and Marc forever.

Good morning, Wednesday. Another day of gloom. What is going on with this weather huh huh huh? OMG.

So I'm sitting here working and writing and thinking as I do. And it's come to my attention of late that I'm annoyingly New York. Meaning, to outsiders, I may seem too cityfied for my own good. And that maybe I sacrificed my second bedroom to house my clothes and dressing table where I get ready in the morning. And perhaps I wear dark colors all year for the most part. And have the good fortune to duck out of rainstorms only to discover the best ramen of all time, ordered by sitting in an individual cubicle and pressing a button, only for the big reveal to be a curtain opening to take your order, and then later serving you some pork infused goodness that makes you want to pinch yourself. Yea, that's what I've got going on. And?

So it's no surprise I've always adored Marc Jacobs because, to me, he is the quintessential New Yorker. Stylish, creative, a little fucked up. Still ahead of and setting the trends with an understanding of street culture and youth culture and pop culture. It's true that in the past few years or so, many of us Marc fans have been scratching our well-highlighted heads. It was unclear what direction he was taking his namesake brand, but I, for one think Marc is very much back. With the infamous grunge redux and now his new rebranding as "the" Marc Jacobs, I love the spirit of the brand so much. And I even forgive him for moving to the suburbs. For the perfect midcentury, sometimes we must.

Anyway, here's something I should probably own. This New York nameplate necklace, done in collab with New York Magazine to celebrate the original Milton Glaser logo created for the pub back in 1968. It's perfection in type form. And it's next-gen Carrie Bradshaw realness when it becomes a necklace. Because besides wearing my name around my neck, New York would probably be a close second. It's a massive part of me. You know it and I know it and that's why I need this necklace. Birthday's next month. Just saying. I'll take it in gold, natch.

If you have a chance, check out the rest of Marc's fabulousness lately. It's so good. I love a comeback kid. And so does this city — cheers to New York, the brand. And New York being part of my brand. And extra clinks to Marc J. for also finding all the inspiration he needs in this blessed, crazy town.

Also here's a picture of Mia Farrow looking fantastic. Just because. You're welcome.

Cause that's what's up this old New York kind of Wednesday in Manhattan, baby. Yours, in long, enduring love affairs. XO


In defense of not aging gracefully

Good morning, Tuesday. This weather though. Blech.

So let's talk about Madonna for a minute. Her new album Madame X is getting panned left and right and I must admit it's not great and I also must admit her look is super bizarre. Whatever queen told her to wear an eye patch, cowboy hat, and bridal gown all at once has misguided her. I realize this might be a slight homage to the many phases of Ms. M, but, yea, it's not her best look.

But a recent Facebook comment on a friend's feed about Madge gave me pause. Because a woman commented on how bad the album was, saying simply "I wish she would just age gracefully". Come again?

As someone who is aging (newsflash we all are), I LOATHE that term. 

Sure I know what she means. She means be more like a Catherine Deneuve. Or a Helen Mirren. Or a Meryl Streep. Or a Michelle Pfeiffer. Need I go on? I think not. Because aging gracefully really means just being naturally beautiful. And somehow being all aglow as your hormones change.  It's nice in theory. But it's complete bullshit.

Because "grace" does not apply to every single woman on Earth. And you can say a lot about Madonna, but what about her and her illustrious, groundbreaking, sex-positive career has ever led you to believe she would "age gracefully"? Hers is not a life of grace. It's a life of rebelliousness, fierceness, in your face independence. Even if you're not a big fan of hers, you have to admit it- she changed popular culture and was a champion for women and their bodies and a new kind of empowerment. 

All of this is messy stuff. And incidentally, none of that requires grace. So why on Earth would she go wafting into the ether, in a smart cardigan and slacks and an Hermès scarf? And trust me, if she wanted to do that she'd own that. But why is there this notion that women must go quietly into the twilight? 

I've talked much about my complicated feelings surrounding aging pop and rock stars. But Madonna is in a class of her own. And the rules just don't apply to her. Let her live. Let her do her thing. Bad music? Sure. Super hot guy in her video for Medellin? You bet. Doing it all very much on her own terms? You know this. Cheers to her for always reinventing and taking risks. 

Not all of us look like or act like what many think we should as we are getting older. I'm not opposed to grace in any way. But it's a stupid term when it comes to people who have always defied the odds and lived rebellious lives. Don't ask Madonna to retire to the study in sensible pajamas.  She'll scratch your damn eyes out.

I think we need to vastly redefine what age looks like. How we feel about it. Our expectations around it.  We have Diana Ross. We have artists who we perceive as more age appropriate, and somehow, Cher manages to dodge a bullet when it comes to the G word. But Madonna is her own thing. Let her do her. You do you. And we'll all be great. After all, she made it through the wilderness.

And even though her new album may be far from her best, I'm just glad she's still out there doing her thing. And if she wants to be weird and cha, cha, cha, then fuck it. Let her. 

Cause that's what's up this graceless Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in living life on your own bloody terms. XO


Five beauty essentials for beating the heat/humidity

Good morning, my little Monday dwellers. I hope you had an exciting weekend. If you are someone who has worked or works in advertising, buckle up for all those rose swilling, yacht dwelling, self-congratulatory social media moments from Cannes. My eyes. I have never been to Cannes for the ad awards hoo has and I most likely never will be. I have, however, always wanted to go and write a Hunter Thompsonesque commentary on all the masturbatory madness. Who wants to fund that? No takers so far. Shocking.

But this isn't a post about advertising. It's about the heat is on and the humidity here to stay. This time of year is super challenging for me. Though I love the ocean, like a bit of a tan, and love extra daylight, the whole hot thing is a challenge. So here's five beauty products I've found that help. At least when it comes to looking your best all Summer long. You may not reach Bardot beauty on the beach status, but a girl can try.

For the face: Hourglass Veil™ Translucent Setting Powder. OK, so this. I know any woman over 40 is wondering if powder is for her. The answer is yes. If the said powder is not drying. If you don't want to look like a decomposing mummy, use Hourglass's fantastic powder. Its formula is lovely, and it doesn't seem cakey or drying and provides the perfect finish to makeup so it won't run down your face when it's hazy, hot, and humid. I love, love, love this one. I highly recommend for all ages. And the foolproof packaging allows for just the right amount to be dispensed. Maybe my favorite new discovery.

For the hair: Leonor Greyle Serum de Soie Sublimateur- This oil from French girl favorite Leonor Greyle is the holy grail of anti-frizz, and that's a fact. Run a few drops through your hair, and you can even dare to dry naturally. It's that good. It smoothes without being too greasy or weighing down your tresses. The smell is subjective- it's not my favorite, but others adore it- kind of the way I feel about the original Rodin oil. Smells a bit like that. I've written about this one before, but worth a mention again because it's perfection.

For the girls:  Boob sweat? Don't even tell me this isn't a concern. This talc-free powder from Megababe keeps you feeling fresh and sweat free, where it matters all day long. I love this stuff. In Bust Dust I trust. 

For the thighs: A miracle of miracles. Thigh Rescue is miraculous during bare leg season. And as someone who wears dresses more often than not, strong yes to having this in stock at all times at my casa. I love Megababe so much. They get it, and they also make one for men. How cool is that?

For the whole bod, baby.  Oh, I love this guy from organic line Osea. After the shower, smelling delicious, soft skin realness. It's from Malibu, so it gives you that apres beach vibe that's just everything. I can't wait to bring it with me to beach week in July. So gorgeous and smells so good and soaks right into your skin. Claims to help with stretch marks and firms skin too. Gorgeous.

So maybe you're in Cannes reading this and wishing I had written this before your trip. Or maybe you're stateside in a sweat. Either way, summer is here and so are all these divine products to help you get through it. Cause that's what's up this sunny beauty roundup of a Monday in the unsunny 212. Yours, in frizz and sweat, be gone. XO