New York in a nutshell

Good morning, Tuesday. Have you ever wondered what it takes to be successful at living in New York City? Besides having unlimited income, I mean. 

I had an epiphany yesterday as I was walking Khan at 7 am. There's a hospital type facility right by where I walk him, and a young guy was wheeling a very old guy in a wheelchair, and said old guy was in a hospital gown. On the street. At 7am. And just today on my walk to get a coffee in Soho, some other dude was doing this weird/walk run. With his shirt off. And pants falling off. And a poop stain. It's not even noon yet, ps. Can't a girl just get a skinny vanilla latte?

Successful living in New York is accepting the fact that we live out in the open. It's a no holds barred look into everyone's lives, including our own. We see things we shouldn't see. And we hear things we shouldn't hear. We sit shoulder to shoulder and often stand face to very close face on the subway, where the notion of personal space is strictly the provenance of Uber riders. On any day, you can hear passers by screaming into their phones about a break up, a job loss, a gynecological matter. Living lives in the wide open is surely not for everyone. I'm a private type by all means but one becomes accustomed to this lifestyle, even when you see someone eat an entire stick of butter on the subway. And perhaps that's why New Yorkers are so friendly (we are). Because we literally live out loud. And we've kind of seen it all.

I've heard that living in LA can feel isolating, because of all the time one spends in the car, alone. Cut to New York life- where you never truly feel alone. And though for many years that gave me solace (I always found comfort in the fact that, during fits of insomnia, others would be up and wide awake too), lately it's been giving me a headache. I'm tired of hearing about your brunch plans. Your abnormal CT scan? Nope. I don't want to hear your Spotify playlist at deafening volume on the C train. And now that almost every office environment has open seating, there's no chance to have your own space even when you get to work. So what's a lifelong New Yorker to do? 

The same thing I've always done. Hate/love on all of these random displays of humanity, or simply embrace them. Would life be more fun NOT overhearing the sad saga of a Tinder date gone awry? Probably not. I just think it's amazing to live in a place where we are all so very exposed, where the playing field is so very level, but where at the same time- one can retain true anonymity if one desires. Because more often than not, in this city of wide open, it's very easy to disappear. That's the crazy two sided coin that is New York life. I can walk for hours in my own void if I choose, and I love that about big city life. Not the case in a small town where everyone knows your name. For some reason, that feels a lot more intense to me than a man running down the street in a diaper in a snowstorm. I've seen that, ps.

In a world where oversharing is the new normal, perhaps New Yorkers have a higher threshold for all of those pictures of you on your unicorn pool float. Or perhaps not because we get to see "real life" more often than not, and much of it will never make it to Instagram.

Oh, New York. You do give me a real run for my money sometimes (literally all the time), but somehow it all works, even though we all have island fever and are completely nuts. I've seen and heard too many things for many years, but I'm also able to disappear here. Ain't that a kick in the head?

Cause that's what's up this overexposed Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in open books and big city life. XO

The collage at the top of the post is by UK artist Laura Redburn.

Where my freaks at?

Good afternoon, Friyay. It's the freakin' weekend. Yow.  My chill game leaves much to be desired of late.

So last night I was thinking about why I have always been drawn to subcultures. At various times in my young life, I found the need to align with certain groups (as one does) and for me, whether it was the Deadheads or the art school punk kids, I immersed myself and celebrated a less mainstream mystique. I've never been much of a milquetoast mundane. Ever. At various times in my life it messed with me (why can't I be normal?) but as I get older I've come to love this part of myself. And it's true- I'm not a dumpster diving anarchist. I can thrive in environments where the flock tends to feel a bit same same. But living in a place like New York has always given me the license to think, look, and be different, and ya can't take that away from me. I march to my own beat and all the rest of the cliches. And I'm so cool with that.

So it's with pause that I now wonder- what's happened to counterculture in modern times? Where is everyone who strays from the flock and why does everything feel so same same? Sure sure- there's outliers. Trailblazers. Bonafide risk takers. Protesters. But when something like Burning Man (blech) becomes a place to concept with a whiteboard sponsored by Microsoft, no. That's not going to work for me. At all.

Think about it- to me there hasn't been a great counterculture moment since the 90s when rave culture and club kids danced to happy house with pacifiers in their mouths. It's not surprising that's the last moment I remember, because truly- that's the last time I was very young. 

And the whole millennial hipster thing does not feel counterculti to me at all. Nor does the vast microcosm of rose swilling, sunglass donning, fancy bag toting BS on Instagram does not quite say "revolution" to me.  And now that Brooklyn is a brand and yoga and meditation have reached "namaste all day" status, I don't even know what's left. Unfortunately, I've drawn the conclusion that either I'm too old to really understand what's trending on the underground, or worse.  That what it means to be counterculture is far more insipid. Because I think the counterculture is now the alt right or whatever they're calling themselves these days.

Think about it. (Or don't).

Trump is the antithesis of what it means to be Prez of the USA. In almost a punk rock, fuck you kind of way. Just not as cool. And more tyrannical. And his minions who swill and shill his unique brand of non PC Twitter rants and pow pow politics? Yea, they're definitely not mainstream.  They seem positively fringe in every way to me.  But now they too are becoming mainstream or have they always been mainstream and I was too busy being "other"? Now I'm confused. What does it all mean? And where is the true rage against this machine when it comes to joining a real revolution? I guess when you're living in the upside down full time, none of the usual rules apply.

And truthfully, I've become less of a joiner as I've matured. I don't want to be part of any group that would accept me as a member. Yea, that's Groucho. He was a revolutionary, too. I guess we'll have to wait and see who comes around the bend. I think with the accelerated 24/7 news cycle, it's pretty hard to stay underground and indie and that's that.  I guess I just miss real weirdos. Or at least, the kind I like.

Cause that's what's up this going underground kind of Friday in the 212. Yours, in running counter, today and always.Like the picture at the top of the post says.  XO

Merc, you killin' me

Oh hey, Wednesday. Um. Mercury- a word, please.

So I don't know why you're choosing this particular cycle to relentlessly mess with me, but DAYUM.

First I leave my phone in an Uber yesterday. Then I get it back and have to rush to dinner with an uncharged phone. Then I try to take money out of some ATM in Brooklyn and Bank of America freezes my card and tells me to call them, when I've got 20% power on my phone. Then I have my husband call me a LYFT so I can get home from dinner with a dear friend. Then I am on hold with said bank for ONE FULL HOUR. And now, as I tuck into the work day, I've left my glasses at home and am sitting here wearing my sunglasses inside. 


Sure there's worse stuff. I'm aware. But gah what a 24 hours. Plus, it's toooooo hottttt stillll.

OK, rant over. Watch your back, kid and protect 'yo neck. Shit's real weird out there. Anyone else feeling the burn?

Cause that's what's up this wacky Wednesday. Yours, in astrological forces and communication breakdowns. (Hey I just made a Wu Tang reference and a Zep reference in the same post despite some rather crappy odds ;)) XO

Some late breaking Summer recommends as the dog days continue to dog us.

Good morning, Monday.  It's hot. Too hot. I wanna crawl back under the duvet and have the a/c on 60 kind of hot. I can't.

But since I have to, I might as well share some ways to fend off the inevitable Summer slump- 'tis the dog days when one begins to feel massively challenged when it come to wardrobe.

And although the thought of anything with sleeves or legs feels horrendous,  there's some great stuff out there worth rocking- from the likes of J. Crew, believe it or not.

For instance, I LOVE this bathing suit in the coolest of fabrics, seersucker. It's preppy and chic and an excellent choice for a 90+ degree day a la playa. I love a preppy bathing suit and this one looks ready for a Cape Cod at the yacht club. 

And this little maxi from 9seed is so insanely cute. I have it in black and I love it over a bathing suit- it's like wearing nothing and is also perfect to wear at home after work when you need to put on something cool and super comfy. 

Warning- this next look does not come cheap, but Malia Mills knows how to make a Summer silhouette like none other. I know I said no pants on hot days but who could resist this strapless jumpsuit with built in a/c aka leg slits? So lovely and versatile. 

Also if you feel like scent is overwhelming in this weather, I get it. But I'd rather turn into pixie dust than leave the house without perfume, and that's a fact. If you're so inclined, anything from island brand Coqui Coqui will work. I'm obsessed with their Summery scents and you'll leave the house smelling like a breath of fresh air. 

And if you can't be bothered with shoes, cool. Just get a nice pedicure- I've been very into light colors on my toes of late- and love this gel shade, Lisbon Wants Moor from OPI. It's the perfect enough to show up pink and I love the way it looks on bare feet or with sandals. Very classic and pretty without being overly girly.

As for me, I'm just going to sit in the a/c in an old sleeveless dress I plucked from my closet. It's cool enough, but not as cool as all of this stuff above. Cause that's what's up this it's almost Fall but first more Summer kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in chic survival skills. XO

Tried and true vs. shiny and new?

Good morning, Thursday. I'm done with this Summer. Officially. It's so damn hot it's like living in a constant hot flash. Make it stop. DONE.

So last night the hubs and I had dinner at an old favorite in Soho, Blue Ribbon Sushi. It's always been great there, and it's still great. The sushi is inventive and the service is fantastic and they always play amazing music- everything from Coltrane to the Stones and back again, and it was on and packed in there with people waiting to be seated. Oh and we had a good celebrity sighting- Sofia Coppola with the French husband and two kids. They were quiet. But Sofia. OMG. I'm not worthy.

So after a classic yet spendy meal (strangely love very indulgent meals at unexpected times- like random nights during the week), I started thinking about tried and true vs. shiny and new.

We are living in decidedly shiny and new times. Instagram exposes us to everything we think we want, need, desire. There's the latest shoe, the latest necklace, the latest lipstick. There's the hottest destination and the hottest new workout. We've been trained of late to only want the "new new".  I myself am guilty to an extent- I want a new wardrobe every season and am not the type to resole an old pair of shoes. Guilty of Instanew as charged.

But when it comes to my true passions, I love the tried and true. Perhaps it's my age, but I am loving classics of late. 

I am a bit of a classic girl after all. I love old buildings, classic restaurants, and heritage brands. I tend to try a bunch of new things but often return to my favorite things. I have a great deal of deference to places like Blue Ribbon Sushi, who can stay in the very competitive restaurant game for as long as they have and turn out consistently wonderful food and atmosphere. I admire perfect cashmere sweaters that hold their weight after seasons of wear. I love classic rock and listening to "Exile on Main Street" will never grow old. There's great comfort in the patina of iconic places, faces, experiences. I'm grateful that proven things are still very good things. First and best vibes all the way.

And although I love shiny, new objects like everyone else, I love my classics. Particularly in New York. They are places like Odeon, breakfast at Balthazar, Indochine, and of course, Blue Ribbon. They are hotels like the Mark and the Carlyle. They are drugstores like Clyde's and Zitomer. They are Upper East Side and strangely, Tribeca and Soho. They are Joe's Pizza. And Ben's Pizza. And the Grand Central Oyster Bar. And they are still somewhat around in my beloved Brooklyn- when those old Italians leave Carroll Gardens for good, I might have to as well.

And as I've said time and again- I'm not a nostalgic type. I just appreciate a classic martini in a classic place. I'm lucky to live in a city that, although changing, still appreciates good being good and great being great, regardless of age or shine off the rose. And yes, I'll go with you to a new hot boite or restaurant or pop up, but I have to have my old standbys.  I'm not always such a fan of new and improved. I may be a girl who chases trends, but with the world moving at warp speed, there's great comfort in places and faces and things that are guaranteed to hit the mark every time. Like the above mentioned martini, served absolutely perfectly at the bar at Balthazar. I crave those. 

Cause that's what's up this don't go changing kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in living a life of heritage, respect, and great sushi. XO

Crushing on Nili Lotan for Fall

Good morning, Wednesday. It's just straight up soupy grossness outside. As I mentioned yesterday, I've got one foot in Fall. Dying for the heat to subside and cooler, crispy temps to take over. And of course, of course I've got my mind on all things Fall wardrobe, though I'm not looking forward to changing my closet over. That's a whole thing.

So I was looking through my various feeds this morning, and this amazing shot (above) from Nili Lotan's Fall collection popped up and it just speaks to me. 

I love it for every reason I can think of:

It's tomboy chic. It's rock and roll. It's subtly sexy without being vulgar.  It's slouchy yet strong. It's well suited to city life. And it's altogether cool, casual, and so very modern. 

.Nili Lotan is Israeli born and NY based and is one of my favorites when it comes to elevated, luxe basics that could take you anywhere and back. Here's some other shots from her collection and needless to say, I want all of it. This is pretty much how I would love to dress- all of the above elements infused with my own personal stamp like a statement shoe or great hat or cool jewels. I want it all. And I want it now. It's truly a checklist for all the things: Leopard print, leather, suiting, slip dress, long sweater, winter white, a great blazer.  It's all right there.

How good are these looks though? And what do you have your eye on for Fall?

Cause that's what's up this Fall preview of a Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in dream wardrobes custom made for life. XO

Maven pick: Matte makeup (for a change)

Good afternoon, Tuesday. It's getting humid outside and I'm on the cranky side of the street today. I must admit, I won't be mad at Fall when she comes.

And speaking of Fall, have you started thinking about your fashion and beauty needs for said season? Don't roll your eyes at me, missy. It's time.

One of my favorite Fall finds is the new matte eyeshadows from Chanel. The brown quad called Clair Obscur is magical. And I have yet to try the more colorful one called Quiet Revolution pictured but can't wait to see those colors. Truth be told- I'm wearing a lot more neutrals on my eyes of late and was excited to try something matte. I've never, ever been a fan of matte anything when it comes to makeup as I'm more of a glowgetter, but as the years pass, all that shimmer feels a bit off base. I know what you're thinking- I too am afraid of looking like a Kardashian lost in the 80s, but it doesn't have to be that way. Plus, matte is super flattering on more mature skin because too much shimmer can add to the look of wrinkles. And it stays on like woah. Don't worry about that pic at the top of the post- because these colors are not at all 80s, they're very much right this minute now. I too was worried I'd look like an aging Pat Benatar, but alas- not at all. Not that that would suck, come to think of it...

Anyhoo, this quad is gorgeous, absolutely home run gorgeous. I have hazel eyes and love the way the colors bring out the best of my eye color. Very pretty, very subtle, albeit slightly smoky. I do mine with a bit of dark black liquid liner (my current favorite is from Hourglass) very close to the lash line and one coat of mascara (currently enjoying Glossier's Lash Slick). It's a pretty look with a bit of bronzer and a subtle cheek. I highly recommend. Oh and tread lightly- the colors (particularly the darker ones) are super pigmented and a little goes a long way. Blend, blend, blend.

Next up is tackling my fear of matte lipstick, which to me seems like a puckery, dry mess but what do I know?

Cause that's what's up this going to the matte kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in new seasons and matte finishes. XO

Making memories (in Ventnor and Margate)

Good afternoon, kiddos. it's Monday and it's definitely, well, Monday.

This weekend I found myself at the Jersey shore as you know. I haven't spent much time there since I've lived in New York, but it was surprisingly delightful.

As a bit of personal beach history, I have always, always loved Montauk, or at least since I moved to New York. It's a place that is special and dear to my heart, where there's an energy that feels in tune with mine. Or I should say felt in tune with mine. Because now it's been taken over by douchebags in sea planes and Vilbrequin bathing suits and Instagram celebs and I can't deal. What's very funny to me about the Hamptons is how everyone talks about how happy they are to be out of the city- yet the whole city is right there with them- from everyone they know to Soul Cycle and back again. It's like same/same, just by the sea. Also the traffic to get out there is completely demoralizing, and the price of admission is not even for the 1%, it's for a microcosm of society that thinks it's perfectly cool to drop about 800 bucks a night to drink some rose and pose with a real housewife. No. Thank. You.

I'm so sad about it truly but what can I do? have to move on.

So off we went to the Jersey shore- particularly the South Jersey shore, which is where Philadelphia people go to the beach.  And in particular, the whole Margate/Ventor area, which is next to Atlantic City and full of more Jews than Israel. Well not quite, but you get my drift. This is a very Jewish beach area and has always been that way. And though I am as self loathing as the rest of you MOTs out there, I swear it felt absolutely divine to be amongst my people. Hilarious in every way. And most of all, extremely comforting. I'm not sure why hairy chested men in Stars of David make me feel comfortable, but they do. Not to mention all the yentas doing their beach walks in visors and clutch bags. Amazing. 

And the beach itself is super easy and accessible as well as beautiful. I am a true water sign and if I don't see beach for months on end, I get a real case of the blues. I love to smell and see the ocean, and the water was lovely, if not a bit too seaweed strewn. The inside of my bathing suit looked a bit like an underwater science experiment.

But the real highlight of my weekend besides the overly tanned Jews and the beach time was my visit to a true South Jersey beach staple-Memories in Margate.

If you are not familiar, psssh. This is a place that is legendary amongst Philly folk. You may even cringe about it, but you kind of have to love it. It's owned by Jerry Blavat, a 78 year old DJ with questionable ties to certain, ahem, types. Anyway, Blavat (also known as the Geator don't ask me why) spins oldies- from motown to disco to a crowd that is truly an anomaly. I saw 21 year olds (and probably younger) dancing side by side with 65-70 year olds and everything in between and above. It is a beach institution and it is more fun that I can possibly explain on this here blog.  It is packed with people all weekend and besides dancing and almost peeing your pants from the hilarity of it all is watching people come in the front door- because they all come in dancing from the second they come in. It's amazing. Truly. And Jerry's commentary during his set is worth the ten dollar cover.  My parents used to go and my sister used to do when she was underaged, and now we were all there together and it was so much fun. It's the kind of spot where you order a 7 & 7 and just dance your silly butt off to songs like "Runaround Sue" and "Night Fever" and "Le Freak".  Think grown up bar mitzvah (where one parent is Jewish and one parent is Italian).

For me, it was so nice to experience a whole different vibe, yet one that felt so very familiar. it was like coming home. And needless to say, I'll be back to see Lucy the Elephant and all of my tribe. Seriously considering a rental next Summer because f the Hamptons. I do love it there, but to me, it's all about easy, clean beaches and kick back sandy fun. And nothing beats a good beach walk with my sis. More please.

Cause that's what's up this oldie but a goodie kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in motown, disco, and hot fun in the Summertime. XO

Call me maybe?

Good morning and TGIF!!

I'm looking forward to a little sun (please Lord let there be) this weekend with my fam down at the Jersey shore. Yes I know. Jersey shore and I are not really a thing, but this little Cancerian water baby needs to see some ocean stat. I'm excited. 

Also, here's something. Novel some might say. PHONE CALLS.

I know this is a ridiculous proclamation, but truth be told (and I'm sure it's true for the rest of you too) I never, ever talk on the phone anymore. Unless it's a conference call. But social calls? No. Never. Ever.

I've become a textbook texter, Facebook messenger, social media commenter.  And of course, the best of all- actual face to face time, in person. But because of evolution, I have completely forgotten that picking up the phone and chatting is actually a bonafide option of connection and communication. So this week, I've made no less than 3 long length phone calls to friends I have not seen in a minute- from one who's been upstate all Summer to my childhood bestie to my sister. I've actually talked on the phone and enjoyed it. And phone calls make me think of my pink princess phone in high school, where I endlessly gabbed to all my peeps and crushes and loved it. There was something magical about it back then. 

It's funny how hopeless our endless streams of "keeping in touch" can seem sometimes. I may know what you eat for dinner or what you wear to work because of Instagram or Facebook. But do I know much more really? And texting it great but for some reason I have always found it invasive. Because the expectation is an immediate response. And that's just annoying. Email of course is a good long form communique but feels more business-like in many ways. I'm telling you- this weekend- pick up the phone and reach out via voice. You won't believe how satisfying it is. And I can't even believe I have to mention this.  But true. Try it. You'll feel close. It's nice to hear a voice. Maybe a ton of you Facetime but I really don't like that. Video is not my best media form. Anyway, silly post. But wanted to share. Don't forget about actually making phone calls on your phone. It still suits in between the scrolling and swiping and shopping. It's nice that. I know anyone millennial and below is probably eye rolling emoji'ing me right now, but whatever. And ps, I must really love you if we talk on the phone. It's reserved for people I really, really want to talk to.

Cause that's what's up this ring a ding of a Thursday in the 212. Yours, in reaching out and touching someone. So call me maybe.XO

Maven recommends: A very pretty pop up

Good afternoon, and TGIF. Yay. Let the weekend begin.

So don't kill me, fellow New York chicas but I have a retail recco that may break your bank, but ooh. It's good. And you will want it all- so consider yourself (and your wallet) warned.

A friend of mine had the breeziest, easiest Summer frock on the other night- you know the brief- sleeveless, floral, maxi. A mix between a caftan and a sundress. Beautiful neckline for a peek of bra and some layered jewels. The dress was the genius creation of Jane Mayle, she of aughts fashion fame, who in the past few years has resurrected her line (Maison Mayle) to include looks that are boho, feminine, and altogether cool. I'm in love with the whole collection naturally and can clearly remember a top I splurged on in the late 90s- navy blue silk with a cameo cut out. Gorgeous. 

But cut to now, because Ms. Mayle has a beautiful pop up shop that is opened last winter and is up until the end of July over on Great Jones Street. It's open Monday to Friday and it is simply- all that. And then some. Look at her- so chic. You know you need some of that.

The store feels like a glimpse into her personal atelier, and the beautiful selection of blouses and dresses and jewelry won't disappoint girls who like a vintage but modern, feminine mystique. I'm a sucker for that sleeveless Thea dress for sure, but so many other beautiful pieces. If I were you, I'd go to there right now. Surely some of you have a Summer Friday? She'll close for the month of August and be back for the Fall, but if you're in need of some perfect pieces to round out your Summer wardrobe, go check it out. 

Cause that's what's up this well frocked Friday in the 212. Yours, in everything old is new again. XO

The Mayle shop is located at 33 Great Jones Street.