Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Back!

Hello, Friends!

I have been hiding out in my fast-paced, crazy, fashion-life world for the past 2 and a half years. It has been a wild ride and the most exciting chapter to date.  At this point, I would love to catalog my favorite places in NY and build on the beginnings from below.  It's still incredibly important to me to share my experiences with anyone who might need a suggestion or two -- I know I wish I had a resource such as this one before taking the plunge.  So here's a brief re-cap of my life over the last couple of years and my entries will likely coincide geographically or cerebrally (is that a word? ...I'll make it one).  Hopefully, I haven't lost you dear readers forever.

Vie En Trend -

Last we spoke, I was beginning my job for the lovely design team of Isaac Franco and Ken Kaufman.  We had an intense year that was by far in a way the best experience of my life.  Challenging, no doubt, but beyond the realm of anything I could deign to imagine at this point.  I learned to juggle many components within a small company under immense pressure and, I think, managed to make a difference there - even if only on a small scale.  The experience led me to meeting my mentor whom redirected my life to my current venture working at the #1 luxury fashion web site.  Per my contract, I'm not allowed to say outright for whom I work but if you know fashion I think you might be able to easily guess.

At my new position, I am a member of the buying team.  This has brought about the obvious perks: invitations to fashion shows, exclusive parties, market meetings with designers and creating exclusive looks, and the opportunity for me to mingle with the top executives in my own company (celebrities in their own right).  But it also afforded me time outside of work to be adventurous and explore the city - go to the beach during the summer, see Broadway shows, test all kinds of bars and live music, and... well, eating great food of course.  I can't wait to share little vignettes with all of you.

I'll try to post fairly frequently - if there's anything in particular you'd like me to share, please say so in the comments!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Mommy, WOW. I'm a big kid now!

Today I start the first salaried job of my life.  Not only will I have a steady income for the first time complete with strange benefits I don't understand, but I'll have a set daily schedule for the first time in over 4 years.  Granted, my set schedule will differ from most due to my industry and particular position, but a set schedule nonetheless.  And I am not only beyond thrilled to begin, but nervous as hell!

So you vets of the real world - any advice to quell my rookie anxieties?

Aside from the fact that the title of this post is exactly what I'm feeling inside, I'm also feeling overwhelmingly joyed.  I came to New York hoping to break into the luxury fashion industry and in less than 3 months I did exactly that.  So allow me to pat myself on the back for a moment.  Okay, selfish indulgence over.

On to some pretty -

Angelina Jolie's Oscar gown this year, perhaps?

If only I could wear THIS on my first day...

I mean, c'mon.  It doesn't get any better than black and leather.  N'est-ce pas?

Friday, September 17, 2010


My biggest staple obsession since arriving in New York is STRAND Bookstore.

Image courtesy of
Located within Union Square, this mecca of book diving at reduced prices is beyond.  Beyond. Just take a look at my goodreads list (like a laundry, baby) and you'll realize just how many pages of goodies I've acquired.  Murakami for $4? Check.  Sartre's The Fall for $5? Check.  Hardcover Deluxe by Dana Thomas (originally $30) for $5.75 (blasphemous, really.)? Check.  And these are just the leaflets that satisfy my cravings.  There are four floors of old books, new books, used books, about American history, science fiction, mystery, romance, classics, architecture - they have everything.  They have everything at Costco prices, people.  COSTCO PRICES.  And there aren't any Costco's in Manhattan.

As if you needed more of a reason to check it out.. HA.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Museum of Modern Art

Photo courtesy of

Last month I was fortunate enough to visit the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art thanks to a lovely friend of mine from work.  The two of us tagged along on a surprisingly exhilarating tour through Bresson's breathtaking black and white photographs.  But what really brought the photos alive was learning about the rebellious photographer's history.  The bourgeois brat poo-pooed his family's lifestyle in his teen years to become a bohemian artist and capture the photo above.  This isn't your average denouement, notably so, as Bresson grew through his travels to bring a markedly critical eye to social causes.

Photo courtesy of
  Photos like this one, where Bresson was sent to Shanghai to capture the ingression of communism.

Photo courtesy of
And this one which pictures a Gestapo informer.

Photo courtesy of
And, of course, Gandhi.

Bresson's photographs evoke emotion beyond what you see on the faces in the four-wall frame.  There's history.  There's reason.  There's a story.  It's gut-wrenchingly beautiful.

Now I understand why he's known as "The Father of Journalism."

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Everyone has a neighborhood gem.  Mine is Lamarca Cheese Shop just kiddie-corner to my apartment.  It's only open from 10-8, M-F - but don't let that deter you from venturing inside.

There are two wonderful facets to Lamarca.  The first I experienced is their restaurant.  Sitting in the open window doors with a glass of house wine and a book, I wasn't expecting more than a delightful atmosphere and a convenient locale to unwind from a long day.  But then a few wonderful things happened.  First, my waitress couldn't have been lovelier.  She was patient with me in explaining the menu (two columns of pastas - the left with sauces and veggies, the right with additional proteins), how making my own is highly encouraged (rather than reprimanded as so often happens at most eateries), and brimming with respect in describing how everything is made from scratch.  This is one of those old-fashioned pasta houses where they actually make their own fresh pastas and sauces - even their breads - and it almost feels as though you're dining in someone's intimate Italian home on the countryside.  It is nothing short of wonderful.

So I make my decision, penne in pesto cream sauce with chicken and mushrooms (hey, I might as well go all out if I'm ordering pasta to begin with, no?), and dive back into my Murakami.  And then a nice little surprise is placed in front of me.  Two nice little surprises, in fact.  A big fat luscious roll, perfectly crunchy and crusty on the outside, thick and heavy and warm and buttery on the inside.  I literally have dreams about these rolls.  (Seriously, ask my friends, they all know about my die hard devotion to these rolls).  The second, what appears to be an ordinary house salad.  Nope.  Not even the slightest bit ordinary.  You can tell the greens, the cherry tomatoes, and the cucumbers are fresh from a local market.  And then you taste the dressing - a vinaigrette made with shallots, balsamic, olive oil, and god knows what else - I could take a bath in that dressing.  I am sitting pretty at this point and I haven't even had my main course.

Yep, someone actual took a photo.  They are THAT good.

Those are my beloved sweet cherry tomatoes and scrumptious shallot dressing.  There are not one, but THREE photos of this salad on Yelp.  Out of ten total photos, I'll say this salad is a winnar by everyone's standard.

And my pasta is exactly what you'd expect.  Perfectly aldente, fresh mushrooms, moist chicken, and a creamy pesto sauce that doesn't even have the slightest hint of breakage.

My meal was shear heaven.

It was weeks before I made it back to Lamarca to venture into their pasta shop.  It closes at 6pm and I rarely make it home in time to enjoy it.  But one day, I got the afternoon off and took advantage of the opportunity.  I found out that not only could I purchase my favorite rolls (in bulk mind you - this is trouble) and delicious shalloty-Italian dressing to enjoy at home, but they also make their own buffalo mozzarella among other cheeses and have a variety of pre-made salads and main courses (I highly recommend the chicken).  Also, you can have them make you the exact same pastas from the restaurant next door, and I'll let you in on a little secret... they're half the price! 

Dearest Lamarca,

I love you.  You have provided me with a wonderful world of comfort in scary, new place.  Thank you for your delicious delicacies.  Now, do you mind paying for my yoga classes?  I'm pretty sure you're the culprit to my expanding waistline.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Oh restaurant week.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm restaurant week.  You were fabulous when I had you in my dear District of Columbia.  You are simply unparalleled in the greatest city in the country.

Recognize this woman from the Food Network?

That's Alex Guarnaschelli - famed judge on "Chopped" and acclaimed owner and head chef at "Butter."

The restaurant can be difficult to find with a hidden doorway along a wide open street (a rarity in this city), but the decor with soft lighting and dark woods had an elegant homey feel with a edge.  I arrived early and enjoyed a glass of wine at the bar - sitting right next to Marg Helgenberger.  You might recognize her as the leading lady on the original CSI.

For the record, she looked exactly the same in real life, if not more beautiful.  It's so refreshing to see a woman these days unafraid to age gracefully.  Anyway, back to "Butter"...

For $35 (plus wine), I enjoyed a complete three course meal.  Mussels in a white wine and truffle oil broth to start, grilled halibut with a zucchini gratin for dinner, and a layered "Dobosch" cake with chocolate butter cream and salted caramel for dessert.  I have no idea what "Dobosch" means.  It doesn't matter; it was divine.  My favorite part of the meal?  Sopping up the roasted garlic broth with grilled Italian bread from my mussels.

Ms. Guarnaschelli, thank you for a delicious meal.  When I start making some real money in this city, I'll be sure to visit again.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shopping with Angela Simmons

In my first weeks in New York City, one of my most shocking experiences culminates in the overwhelming exposure to celebrities.  I've considered adding a blogroll just to list them as I go (let me know if you'd be interested in something like this in the comments?).  Never been one to religiously follow the likes of Perez Hilton or any of those daily rag mags, I generally deem myself to be completely out of the loop when it comes to celebrity sightings - as in, I often miss them completely.  That has not been the case, recently.  In fact, I can fill my fingers with the rich and famous I've seen in just the last two weeks of June alone.

Now, few of these sightings contain any meaning to me personally.  I mean, normally when I see a celebrity, a little flair of excitement wells up in my chest and I spend the next minutes flagrantly trying to appear normal by averting my eyes and pursing my lips to hide my smile.  General awkwardness aside, there is little if any interaction between said celebrity and myself in the course of this spotting.

Fancy a little turn of events when I wandered into the sole Top Shop location in all of America.  It was an exciting event all on it's own - my first foray into the much talked about, much adulated, and exclusively European mecca of trend.  I took great care in wandering three floors of alternative designs, focusing solely on clothes.  However, after a not so successful stop in the dressing room, I reexamined my options and the shoe section caught my eye.  Pouring back and forth between the classic black heels and the rocker military booties, I had no less than three sales girls with posh British accents helping me decide (did you know that Top Shop actually ships them overseas and puts them up in NYC just to work in the store?).  But it wasn't until the lovely ladies left me to my own devices that I really had a chance to think through my decision in the full length mirror.  Lost in my thoughts of pros and cons, I overheard a girl behind me chattering away about the military booties.  Thinking she might have been mocking my admiration, I raised my eyes in the mirror to see who was pointing directly at my feet.  She must have felt my eyes because at that moment she turned from her friends to look up at my not-so-subtle glare and she smiled, "Girl, those boots look hot!"  And then I noticed it: those full lips and exotic coloring and yes, cupcakes on her sneakers - it was Angela Simmons.  Caught completely off guard, I stumbled over my words and managed to turn around to smile in a rushed thank you.  And I couldn't help myself.  I burdened her with my dilemma between the black and tan and she was quick to claim the military boots with simple logic, "Those black heels will always be available.  They're not going anywhere.  Those buckled up wedges, though?  You won't get another chance like this for at least 10 years."

And that was it.  I took advice from the daughter of a famous rap star now reverend who designs gym shoes with dessert flourishes and fancies her self a reality star socialite.

What a weird and wonderful place this city is.

Oh, and the shoes - for good measure: