Friday, October 30, 2009

turning japanese

By this time tomorrow, I'll be on a plane to Tokyo. Soooo excited! Unfortunately, I've been influenced by a certain last minute-packer Finn when it comes to packing (and sending out laundry) and I haven't packed a thing. So I consulted Japanese style website Style Arena to see what chic Japanese girls are wearing on the street. There are some very cool looking people on this site (especially in the Harajuku section) but I'd totally dress like these two girls.

So I'll be off the blogosphere for a couple of weeks while I eat and shop my way through Tokyo and Manila. I hope I'll have time to sporadically blog, but in case I don't, have a lovely Halloween and talk to you in two weeks!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

blond and bobbed

My friend Ludette tells me to just say no to bobs because therein lies the danger of ending up with soccer mom hair. But how can I not think about it when even Scarlett Johansson is rocking a sexy tousled blond bob on the Mango fall campaign?

Add to that Marie Claire's proclamation of the bob as the Ultimate Winter Haircut. I guess if it's longish like this, it could work for me. But that would entail a lot of time with my flat iron every morning.

Fluffy, cotton candy-esque hair seems to be all the rage these days. These shots are meant to show the versatility of the long bob.

Wonder if it would look as good with black hair ... Thoughts?

to chuck or not to chuck?

This year I bought two pairs of Chucks. One for my little sister and one for my little niece. Nada for me. The thing is, I've always been intimidated by Chucks. I know that sounds ridiculous, but for a tiny 28-year-old person, it really is. The line between insouciant cool and adolescent playing dress-up is a fine one when you're 28 and barely 5 feet tall.

Do you think it can be done? Do these J. Crew looks only work because these chicks are super leggy and skinny? Or do small chicks with hips have a chance?

Will be pondering this issue until I see a small chick my age successfully rocking Chucks. And then I might actually shell out $65 for J. Crew's Jack Purcell sneaks. Maybe.

Monday, October 26, 2009

under my trench coat

Getting your nails done in a new color is such an underrated pleasure. I bought a new nail polish this week: Under My Trench Coat from Sephora by OPI. Despite having two Sephora's within walking distance of my workplace, I rarely wander in there. But I did one night this week and became completely obsessed with this nail color. Been wanting to veer away from my fuchsias and reds, and go for a more putty-like neutral. This is perfect.

I just adore the grayish/khaki-ish hue with light gold shimmer on top. And this is seriously one of the easiest polishes ever to apply. I did all my fingers and toes in one go, with nary a mistake. I feel like my nails look quite professionally done even though I just did it from my bathroom.

Next up on my list: a dark and mysterious nail color. I'm thinking Dark Room, also from Sephora by OPI. Simple pleasures.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

the problem with market-based menus

Anthony Bourdain obsessed freak that I am, I HAD to trek over to Williamsburg to check out Diner after seeing Tony wolf down a bone marrow butter-smeared ribeye in this joint. It's one of those places that offer a very seasonal, market-based menu. You can expect grassfeed beef all around, butchered right at Marlow and Daughters a few doors down. While there are very few regular items in the menu, the specials list takes maybe 5 minutes to recite. I loved the look of the place. Diner inhabits a cozy 1927 dinercar, and is dark and candlelit—a great place to go for those just-heating-up second dates.

The sad thing is, there were absolutely no steaks when we went. They had apparently sold so much of it over the weekend that they had none left by the time our party rolled in. SO SAD. This is the first time I experienced the downside to market-based menus. When there's no more cow to go around, there's just no more cow. We had to content ourselves with beef carpaccio and burgers ...

The burger was quite delicious. Nice and juicy with all the gooey melted goodness of white cheddar on top. YUM. Yum enough to make me salivate for a burger right now, but not enough to make me trek all the way back to Williambsburg. I would trek back though to attempt another shot at the bone marrow butter-smeared steak. I mean, it's smeared with bone marrow butter for crying out loud. I will not rest until I have it.

In the meantime, I am starving. I woke up at 3:40 after a night that involved me doing my very first keg stand, among other things. So I'm gonna go out and buy an overpriced cafe mocha and sandwich at Starbucks. That's all I got folks! Happy Sunday!

Diner is located at 85 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11211. Tel. (718) 486-3077

Friday, October 23, 2009

get that warm and fuzzy feeling

After a few days of almost summery weather,the winter chill is descending on Manhattan today. I got my wool winter coats from the cleaners today and received the new down coat I ordered yesterday. I guess you could say I'm over the denial and anger stages, and have now come to accept that it's winter again.

If there's one thing keeping my spirits up despite the plummeting temps, it's the idea of cozying up in a beautiful glamorous fur. This fox fur jacket by Pologeorgis at Saks is super cute and only $500.

Ok fine, for me and my rapidly rising credit card bill, "only" and "$500" don't really belong in one sentence together. But if you've got better finances than me, you gotta admit this is a good price for a fur. And here's a great deal to motivate you: from today, October 23 through Sunday, November 1, Saks on Fifth Avenue in New York will give you 25% off a woman's or men's coat, fur, or men's suit if you donate a gently worn coat or men's suit to One Warm Coat, an organization that has donated over a million coats to people in need. For more information, call 212.753.4000 or visit The Fur Salon on Two Women's Outerwear on Four Men's Suits and Outerwear on Six and Seven.

Talk about getting that warm and fuzzy feeling!

Monday, October 19, 2009

hora feliz at tapeo 29

We discovered an amazing happy hour spot a couple of weeks ago thanks to our favorite Irish man, Conor. He celebrated his birthday at Tapeo 29, a cool little tapas spot on the Lower East Side. This place has a wicked happy hour every day, from 6 - 8 PM on weekdays and 5 - 7 PM on weekends. Check out the massive sangria, which comes in a Bordeaux glass. Good stuff and only $5!

There are also some super delish tapas for just $3 and $5. The pan con tomate is not worth the calories, in my opinion. Spring for the $5 tapas and enjoy the super tasty chorizo al sidra, which combines savory and sweet from the chorizo being roasted in apple cider.

If you're lucky like we were, maybe the tapa for the day will be the mejillones en chimichuri. I can never get enough of mussels, and having them seasoned with chimichuri is a nice new twist. I could've had two plates of those, seriously.

The one drawback for me is that Tapeo 29 is pretty far east in the Lower East Side for me to go there constantly. But if you're in the area, this is definitely one not to miss.

Tapeo 29 is located at 29 Clinton Street (on the corner of Stanton Street), New York, NY. Tel. 212-979-0002

Sunday, October 18, 2009

on the hunt for: hoodies

I'm on the hunt for a comfy hoodie to wear under my leather biker jacket. Yesterday, while I was waiting for my skim no-whip mocha at Starbucks, I spied this very cool looking, modelesque blonde wearing a gray heathered hoodie underneath a battered leather jacket. She looked so cool.

Since I'm not 6 feet tall though, I'd like a more snug fit on my hoodie. The dream hoodie would be this plush cashmere hoodie from J.Crew:

I wish it cost a little less that $198 ... maybe it's worth the investment? Maybe I should try Uniqlo, they might have some cheaper options. I remember Uniqlo was the first place I saw a cashmere hoodie back in 2006. They have some pretty affordable cashmere options. Speaking of Uniqlo, if you're determined to waste a Sunday doing unproductive things like I am, their website can suck away a good ten minutes of your life with this. You'll see 1000 Japanese folks wear Uniqlo hoodies in different ways. Kinda fun. I thought of it more as research on what to pack for my upcoming trip to Japan (woot! woot!).

Well that's about all I've got for today. Back to my coffee, couch and Sex and the City reruns! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

random thoughts on a freezing saturday

I felt like I was on a rollercoaster for the last three weeks. There were some massive ups and downs in my personal life, work was non-stop and frenetic, and partying was almost at fever pitch. I alternated between exhiliration and exhaustion on a daily basis. Today Mika left for the US Open, and I had my first free Saturday in awhile. I decided I needed a full day of doing nothing just to regroup. I only stepped out to grab a coffee and a pizza slice, but pretty much just vegged out and watched practically every show I'd recorded on my DVR. It was good ...

Now I'm catching up on my favorite blogs and leisurely browsing the Internet. I'd forgotten how wonderful aimless Internet use can be! So forgive me if today's blog post is a bit random. It's my day off ...

Random thought #1: I love this picture of Olivia Palermo by The Sartorialist. I haven't watched enough of The City to dislike her. I just find her incredibly striking, and this picture makes me want to put on a blazer and poufy little skirt. And extend my legs drastically.

Random thought #2: Is anybody else bothered by this Fendi skunk fur bag? I'm terribly disturbed by it. If I saw this on someone's arm, I might just freak out and throw something at her. I do like fur, but skunk fur?? Pepe le pew. And you want me to pay a little under 2 grand for that? You. Have. GOT. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

Random thought #3: A sweater coat like this one from Anthropologie would be so awesome for my wardrobe. Cozy but tailored and chic. Love.

Mmmm ... that's about it for now. I gotta go to bed before my craving for bacon and garlic rice drags me to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Good night dearies, hope you had a cozy Saturday like I did!


Friday, October 16, 2009

the back room

Last week we stumbled into yet another very cool speakeasy on the Lower East Side. The Back Room has got to have the sketchiest entrance yet of all the speakeasies I've visited so far. You have to go down a flight of stairs from the street level into an ominous-looking alley. Let's put it this way: if you were brought here by someone you didn't know very well, your heart will probably hammer in your chest, in fear that you're in danger of getting whacked. But walk a few more meters and you'll see another flight of stairs and the false facade of a toy store. Climb up the stairs, push open the door with a peephole, and you'll find yourself in a whole other world.

I loved the lush interiors, with its mirrored bar, crystal chandeliers, velvet sofas and loveseats, copper ceilings, and paintings of nude nubiles. The cocktails, served in teacups prohibition era-style, were fantastic, as well. Our favorite was the Bee's Knees, which is a classic Prohibition cocktail. I don't recall the exact mix used at The Back Room but Bee's Knees is generally a mixture of gin, honey and lemon jazzed up at times with some lavander blossoms. It is delish! This would be an excellent date place—though guys, you might want to wait until the third date because if she's never been here and doesn't quite trust you yet, she just might knee you in the b*lls in fear that you're trying to kill her. Seriously.

I've heard that it can get crowded here on the weekends, but on a Thursday night it's quite calm without being totally dead. I found out later that there is another hidden bar within this hidden bar, accessed through a moving bookshelf and only for VIPs. I just might have to come back just to see just how difficult it is to sneak in there ...

The Back Room is located at 102 Norfolk Street between Rivington and Delancey, New York, NY.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

paper cuts

The last thing I'd want on a crazy workweek like this is a papercut ... unless it's Made by Julene.

You can get ready-made pieces from Julene's Etsy shop for $95 or commission a custom-made piece starting at £185. Just some pretty eyecandy to get us through the day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

warehouse sale alert: john varvatos

A little birdie named Sophie told me about an upcoming John Varvatos Warehouse Sale! Prices will be radically slashed, with 90% off on pieces from the 2008-2009 John Varvatos Design Collection and the John Varvatos USA* Collection, full range of sportswear, tailored clothing, suits, trousers, sweaters, knits, dress shirts, soft luxury coats & jackets in leather and cashmere; bags, belts & ties. With Christmas fast approaching, I definitely want to hit the sale up to get a little something for the men in my life. Mika loves John Varvatos, so this would be a great place to get him a lil something.

The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on October 23 and 24. The locations is Metropolitan Pavilion, 4th floor, 123 W. 18th St, New York, NY 10011. Admittance will be by RSVP only, so see the flyer below for more information!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


"Why does this place only get two stars?" Mika asked in disbelief last night, while our party massacred several burgers at Daniel Bouloud's new downtown establishment, DBGB. He was in utter disbelief at the injustice wrought by online critics on this place, which has had us dreaming of juicy beef patties tucked snugly into a toasted brioche bun with scrumptious pork belly confit and crisp bacon since our first visit last week.

"Maybe," I said, "the people who gave those reviews secretly love this place and just want to make sure they can always get a table here."

Our friend Foster, who kept his eyes closed in rapture after taking his first bite of the Monster Frenchie (the aforementioned burger/pork belly wonder except with TWO beef patties—hence the "Monster" moniker), said, "I would totally do that."

Okay I'm sure that some online critics actually have very valid reasons for disliking DBGB, but after two visits to DBGB, we have not found any. The beer selection is solid. There are 22 craft beers on tap originating from Brooklyn to Dusseldorf that will satisfy every beer craving, whether it's for a light white beer, a crisp and hoppy lager, or a satisfying oatmeal stout.

The dishes we've tried so far have been wonderful. On our first visit, we tried the escargots with persillade custard, tomato, almonds & mushrooms ($14). It's something like a deconstructed escargot tart (if such a thing exists). The plump snails and juicy roasted tomatoes sit on a bed of parsley-infused custard, and are accompanied by crisp filo puff pastry. I do love the classical preparation of escargots but this was very good as well. Last night we flirted with beef bone marrow seasoned with pickled mustard seeds and garlic, and served with a few slivers of Katz's famous pastrami, some watercress, and rye bread toast ($11). The seasoning was a bit overpowering to me as I do love just plain old bone marrow, but it was still quite a treat and I would come back for more. DBGB also offers a hefty selection of sausages. I'm not sure which one we had last night but it was so good that I'd definitely want to try more.

What I appreciate most about this place is the great service. Everyone from the bartenders to the runners are just impeccable. That's something that's not always easy to come by in this neck of the woods. I also love the interiors of this place, which tell so many stories. Copper pots owned by star chefs adorn the shelves in the main dining area, while the bar's mirrored walls are etched with funny quotes from celebrities and gastronomes. Given a choice, I would always eat at the bar. They have these super comfy bar chairs for two (great date place!), and you never have to wait for your beer. Definitely coming back here again and again and again ...

DBGB is located at 299 Bowery between Houston and 1st Street, New York, NY. Tel. (212) 933.5300

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

today i'm loving: michael kors watches

Sorry I've been off the air for a week. I've been slammed at work, and had some personal issues over the weekend and was just not up for blogging. With a little bit of yoga and forced laughter, however, I'm starting to feel better. So back to blogging!

How is it that I never noticed the gorgeous watches Michael Kors makes?? Is all this awesomeness a recent development? I just adore these new chronos with tortoiseshell- and horn-esque bracelets. How cool are they? I am especially dying for the the tortoiseshell one ...

I'm tempted to go a bit more classic with a plain gold watch. I've been watching loads of Rachel Zoe Project (my new guilty pleasure) and have been wanting to accessorize a la Zoe: with a big gold watch and piles of gold bracelets on my wrists. The Michael Kors watch below would certainly do the trick, don't you think? And that black enamel watch ... ohhhh how tough and sexy!

The best part about these watches is the price: $195! Not bad right? Maybe I'll get this as an early Christmas present for myself ...

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