Monday, November 10, 2008

I'll Admit It...I Sort Of Like GOOP

Around the age of 14, I went through a Gwyneth Paltrow phase. Essentially, I wanted to be her, or her then-best friend, Winona Ryder. I suppose they were sort of the refined, late-90s version of Paris and Nicole, this time with matching outfits and short, cropped hair. I loved their style: long flowing dresses matched with tomboy haircuts and blazers. Of course the boys on their arms--Ben and Matt before they were "Ben And Matt"--were also envied. For some time, I wore a fake diamond solitaire necklace, green cargo pants and grey, black and white t-shirts, which I believed all gave off an air of Gwyneth. I also watched several of her and Wynona's movies, most importantly, fashion-wise, Sliding Doors, Emma and Reality Bites (the latter still influences my style choices today).

But after Gwyneth moved to London, had some babies and got a stylist, I started to find her a bit offensive. She was no longer an icy cool girl, who happened to be famous, but a glossy A-lister with nothing better to do than show up in the Stars: They're Just Like Us! section of Us Weekly. Her two latest endeavors--a TV show with chef Mario Batali--and GOOP, a lifestyle Web site that offers readers tips on how to live like Gwynnie--are both pretty damn ridiculous. Spain: On The Road Again follows G with MB as well as some Spanish actress and New York Times food writer Mark Bittman. On GOOP, you can cull advice from Gwyneth's personal physicians, gain tips on how to put together your autumn wardrobe and even find out what museums the actress is planning on taking her kids to this season.

But I have to say, while I can't seem to let myself enjoy the television show, GOOP, on the other hand, is getting to me. Cause you know, when it comes down to it, Gwyneth still has that thing going on where she seamlessly blends the down to earth personality of an Upper West Side Jew with the unapproachable beauty of an Upper East Side Blond. The truth is, her doctors have interesting things to say, and I love her wardrobe picks! Fortunately, I don't want to be her anymore, but I want to be like her. Kind of.

(This image is of Gwyneth back in 1997, when I idolized her.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So, NY mag has this video of Ms. Wintour, the second most powerful fashion editor, running at the end of Derek Lam's show. I've never seen her do this, but maybe I haven't been to enough shows with her. Regardless, it's pretty hilarious. And right in front of her is one of my favorite fashion writers, Kate Betts of Time's Style and Design supplement. She seems to be walking, though.

Getting A Seat At A-List Shows

As a member of the business press, some designers deem me important, others certainly do not. Therefore I get invited to some excellent shows without requesting a seat. Others, on the other hand, I'd have to beg for if I wanted to go. (Hello, MJ!)

This year, I requested only one invite--Phillip Lim-- a show I've attended for four seasons now but have never officially been invited to. Every year, I'm stuck with a last-minute standing assignment. (For many, a "standing" assignment is the kiss of death, but I have been willing to suffer through those 15 minutes of rubbernecking to get a first-hand glimpse of Lim's new collection.)

The big guns came out for this one, including my idol Suzy Menkes, as well as the Voguettes and Nina Garcia and every single buyer on the earth, since his stuff does so well in retail. I am proud to announce I did get seated this year, and my spot wasn't too awful!

The clothes were pretty good (wouldn't the above dress suit me well?), but couldn't touch Narciso Rodriguez's collection, which really impressed. I think I might just email their pr girl about Fall 2009 seating right now...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Things I'm Loving

As I'm sure you are well aware, it's that time of year again: Fashion Week has come to New York! I'm lucky enough to be attending quite a few shows this time around, and working on some fun stories as well. But instead of harping on the fact that I was sitting one row away from Chace Crawford, Ashley Olsen and Jessica Szohr (Vanessa on GG) and Matthew Settle (Rufus), I want to discuss things I'm loving this fall, whether they have to do with fashion or not...

The Gap--I'm not sure Gap's new initiative will make them any money but I do know that I heart the clothes! I picked up the popover dress, $58, in black and white and am looking forward to another blouse that should be on sale soon.

Mad Men--Great show. Great cinematography. Amazing fashion. Amazing sets. And did I mention thought-out character development? This show has it all.

Jenni Kayne--The LA-based designer turned out a gorgeous Spring 09 collection that feature a sunny yellow silk blouse and pink, blue and yellow on white floral dress that were must-haves.

BOY--I have mentioned my love for BOY, Scott Sternberg's girly label, but this Spring I. Want. Everything. No, really. Everything. He captures my desired aesthetic so. freakin. well.

Exposed brick. Get over your disdain. It's pretty.

Eating lunch at Ikea. 

Brideshead Revisited (the book). I just love the English class system, don't you?

But enough about me. What are you excited about this fall?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Poncho? Please.

I'm stuck in the airport so I figure this would be a good time to lament on the "comeback" of the poncho. Every year, I feel as though the poncho is resurrected, with little response from consumers. Again, today, writes about the stylishness of the poncho.

Here's where I stand: Ponchos are ugly. It's not about the fact that they're shapeless, made from itchy/unflattering fabric and just overall cheesy. It's the fact that every year, someone tries to make them cool. Why is that? Who actually thinks these things are good-looking? Even if you're into the whole Southwestern look--you know, turquoise, fringe, what-have-you--the poncho just looks plain ol' silly.

Capes, on the other hand, I love. Maybe it's because they cut more of a clean line, or maybe it's because the girls who usually wear them are insanely stylish, and usually French. Regardless, if for some reason you're aching to buy a poncho this fall, remember that a short leather jacket will last forever. A flimsy draping of wool, however, will not.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beauty Secret Alert: Penelope's Red

I've found it: the perfect red lipstick. No, really. It looks good on everyone.

Mac's Russian Red is too orange for many, while Chanel's Fire is pretty but a little too pink for some. The perfect red, in my opinion, is by none other than Revlon. My friend Marisa found it, and I must say she did us all a favor. Named after Revlon spokesmodel Penelope Cruz, the color looks good on fair skinned, dark-haired girls like me, pale red heads like Marisa, freckled gals like my friend Anna, and tanned, blond ladies like my Aunt Barb. Try it. You won't be sorry.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is Expensive Food a Trick or Treat?

Soooo. As I'm sure all of you know, Saturday is my birthday. I am looking forward to a leisurely dinner with friends then a nice, celebratory party with even more friends.

The night before, the bf and I are going to dinner at Scarpetta in Manhattan. It's a new Italian spot helmed by a hip chef--the place received THREE STARS from Frank Bruni at the New York Times. I think that means it's good? One of the signature dishes is foie gras ravioli. Sounds a bit too rich for me, but we'll see tomorrow night!

The prices are moderate, meaning the meal will cost about $120 for the two of us--since we don't do wine--but really, is one meal worth it?

This is the question I ask myself again and again. Sure the food will (hopefully) be impressive, the atmosphere buzzy, but whether or not my lovely, generous bf should be spending that much for a romantic dinner is undecided. But I suppose I should feel lucky that I even have the choice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Are Sales So Good?

Allow me to put my financial reporter hat on for one moment:

Sales this summer are so great because the economy isn't so great, and less people want to spend money on the middle market. People are either trading up or trading down, which means they're wearing Target or Zac Posen, and nothing in between.

Reporter hat off:

Get thee to Barneys, or Nordstrom or your favorite indie boutique NOW! I got this Mayle blouse at the Co-op for 80% off, and at Bird I scored a Mociun skirt for half the original price. If you love designers like Lyell, Mayle, Alexander Wang and Phillip Lim--all mid-market favorites--you'll be able to score in the stores. However, sizes are always limited, so be prepared to do a LOT of shopping.

What are some of your best buys this summer? Share in the comment section below.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Back! With Some Musings on Music

I've been gone for awhile, but I decided it was time, yet again, to devote a little of myself to this lovely blog. I hope some of you are still around. (For those that are, please let everyone know I'll be posting regularly again.)

Let's discuss my latest crush/obsession: the musical duo She & Him. As you are all quite aware, I'm not the savviest listener. I like mid-'90s indie rock and alt-country, and that's about it. Oh, and I love Laura Nyro. You probably haven't heard of Ms. Nyro, but you know a ton of her songs. (They were made famous by the likes of Barbara Streisand and Carol King.)

Listening to Nyro's "Save the Country" with my mom as a little girl is one of my dearest memories. I always have her greatest hits on my iPod. And my iPod is tiny.

I would say that Zooey Deschanel and M.Ward, the duo behind She & Him, channel lots of Patsy Cline in their first album, Volume 1, but the "1960s girl group, elevated" element is all Nyro. Forget about Deschanel's film career right now: her voice is the most unique I've heard in quite a while. I must admit--this album makes newer Rilo Kiley tracks sound way over-produced. (Jeez, I sound like a music snob.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This Rocks

I'm a size 10/12 and I have narrow hips, which means I can fit into most designer clothes. However, up until two years ago, I was a good size 16. It was always really depressing to find that the clothing I loved wasn't available.

Now, a new store in Manhattan has come up with a brilliant concept. True Boutique carries amazing designers -- including Dallin Chase and Cloak and Dagger -- but in sizes 00-16, so more girls can shop.

I really hope this idea takes off. Good luck to Katie, the owner!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I've been trying to get my naturally thin friends to wear jumpsuits for the last three summers. I hate to say it, but I feel this trend screams, "the tinier you are, the better." (I'm usually all for every size wearing every trend -- like skinny jeans -- if you know how to style, you can make it work).

HOWEVER, I'm starting to really, really want a little chambray romper from Urban. I haven't tried it on yet for fear of feeling depressed, but I think I'm going to go for it this weekend. If it fits my long torso/high waist body, you'll be seeing me in a onesie come 4th of July.
Ooh, that's going to be a pain when I have to use the WC.

Monday, March 31, 2008

No More Celebrity Fashion Lines, Please!

If I hear about one more celebrity fashion line, I might simply vomit.

That is all.

A Girl Can Dream in French

If you catch the drift of the title of this blog, then you know how badly I love French culture. I don't when it happened, but sometime in my early twenties I realized every girl I wanted to be was French. (Except for Sofia Coppola, of course, but she also wants to be French). I love Charlotte Gainsbourg, but recently I've become fascinated with the style of Francois Hardy, who I seemed to have been mimicking without even knowing she existed. Now I must buy her albums for inspiration.

I Love You, Shoe

I've never been a big shoe person -- I tend to stick with flats and Converse or Keds -- and I've been that way since childhood. I don't think I ever truly adjusted to wearing heels. On the days I do attempt to slip on anything above 1.5 inches, I tend to look like a teetering fool. I suppose I'm lucky at 5'8" -- I have no need to wear uncomfortable clompers unless I really want to.

However, the sculptural shoe styles that have become more popular in the last couple of seasons are making me reconsider my anti-height stance. I loved Marc Jacobs inverted heel/wedge contraption for spring, but my heart really belongs to Tashkent by Cheyenne. The designer's Greco-inspired wedges -- with twists and turns and unexpected textures and colors -- still look fresh after debuting about two years ago. I finally got my hands on a pair, deeply-discounted of course, at my local boutique.

Who are your new favorite shoe designers?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fashion Fun

When I was living in London, my editor was constantly introducing me to people and things she deemed truly "cool." A posh, boho beauty fanatic, this editor is not what you'd call hip, but she is what you'd call in-the-know. Meaning, she had the right friends who introduced her to all that was hip, letting her be who she was -- a peasant skirt-wearing bleached blond -- without missing out on the next big thing.

One "cool" item this lovely lady passed on to me was Cheap Date -- an anti-establishment fashion magazine that featured thrift store style and cool girls like Chloe Sevigny and Karen Elson. Unlike slick urban culture mags, Cheap Date was irreverent and fun.

Now, the women behind the mag have published a book: The Cheap Date Guide to Style. Unlike most fashion-fixer manuals, this guide doesn't scold you for liking things a little off kilter. Instead, it helps you to embrace your style quirks without looking like a mad woman.

Hopefully, more women will read Cheap Date's guide and stop watching the American version of What Not to Wear. I swear, tuning into to that program lowers your Style IQ within the half-hour.

List Therapy

I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again. I love lists. They de-clutter my mind like no other exercise. And now, as April creeps up on us, I must make my Spring Wardrobe Essentials list. The biggest satisfaction that comes from organizing chaos? Being able to cross off an item or two.

This year's list:
  • Steven Alan's boyfriend shirt in blue
  • 3.1 Philip Lim for Tatami sandals
  • Mario Badescu cleanser and moisturizer
  • Calypso Jasmine perfume
  • Alexander Wang for Uniqlo dresses
  • white v-neck t-shirt
  • two white v-neck tanks
  • new white slip-on Keds
  • Alexander Wang purple silk tank
  • 3.1 Phillip Lim yellow high-waisted skirt
  • iPhone
  • ticket to Europe

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Call It Quarterlife Melodrama

When I was 23, I bought a book called "The Quarterlife Crisis," lauded on Oprah as the first book to gain deep insight into the trials and tribulations of those in their mid-20s.

I must say, I was a bit disappointed. The book was very surface and didn't really provide any solutions, or even comfort -- it was essentially a documentation a few people a little confused about whether they should become doctors or lawyers, or parents before they're 30. Needless to say, these weren't issues I was dealing with at 23 (yes, I know that's a bit early for a 1/4-crisis, but I always seem to be a little ahead of the game ;)).

I wish the online television drama Quarterlife was around when I was going through all that bad stuff. Although melodramatic and filled with not-so-great acting, the creators behind -- you guessed it -- My So Called Life have brought the same sentiment to the same generation. The difference? A decade and some change.

Main character Dylan works at a Cosmo-esque women's magazine, but she wants to be a "real writer." She's also in love with her friend who is (of course) in love with her other friend. There's sadness, longing and a lot of drinking and eating in between working and sleeping.

The story -- told in 8 minutes clips instead of 44-minute long episodes -- sums up Generation Y. We're unsure of our place in society; because of the comfortable means we've been raised on, we don't feel the need to set things in stone, whether that's a relationship or a career. And we've never really had to work for much, which is why we carry designer handbags and iPhones that our parents paid for. Some of us are lucky; we're ambitious enough to land good work. Others are not, and that's why we all have friends who are 34 and bartending.

Regardless of where you fall, you'll appreciate Quarterlife. Just when I feel like I'm passed the stage of being unsure of what's to come, the feeling creeps back up. And watching Quarterlife reminds me that, if someone wrote a show about my hopes and fears, I must not be the only one holding onto them.

Paris Paris

Of course, the French pulled off the most interesting fashion week during a period when buyers are buying less and popular silhouettes from the last few years look tired. The birthplace of fashion continues to bring fresh ideas to the table without alienating the "money people."

My favorites looks were from Isabel Marant -- I'd wear every single checked blouse, belted dress and high-waisted skirt -- and YSL, which was monochromatic, slick and to me, the epitome of power-dressing.

My only disappointment, when it comes to Paris, was that I wasn't there to enjoy it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Red Carpet is Too Safe

Remember the days when Cher wore sparkling Bob Mackie jumpsuits to the Oscars? Yeah, me neither. But it's been documented, and I swear, I'd rather see an atrocity like that then the boring dresses we've seen on the red carpet these last few years. Now that everyone has a stylist, there's less room for screw-ups. I usually love whatever Maggie Gyllenhaal or Kirsten Dunst wear, but both were absent.

There was lots of navy, lots of red and lots of strapless or one-shoulder numbers. My favorites? Rosamund Pike in a lemon yellow Roland Mouret (shown), Julie Christie because she looked classy without looking dowdy and Diablo Cody because she looked ridiculous in leopard print. Hats off to the few who added a little flare to the carpet this year.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Design Savvy

My friend Emme -- often mentioned in this blog -- is an incredible artist. I already own one of her paintings and now I'm commissioning her to design a print for my apartment. It's really great having friends who are creative and talented -- it keeps me curious about new and emerging artists. It also keeps my personal aesthetic fresh.

Want Emme to design something for you? I'm not sure how much she charges -- I get a special discount -- but email me and I will put you in touch with her.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good Night

A friend of mine always says that you spend more time in your bed than you do anywhere else, so it's important to invest in a good mattress. At this moment in my life, I tend to favor wardrobe upgrades over home improvements, but that hasn't stopped me from pining after Hastens' Classic Continental bed. This $4,000 sucker is stuffed with natural materials like cotton, flax and pure new wool and covered in an appealing silver and grey check. I want. I want. I want.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why is it that...

When I'm desperate to get work done, the only music that aids in productivity is Elliot Smith?

Hmm...I wonder what this says about me....

Feel free to ponder.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The New York Shows

I've enjoyed fashion week this year, but I must admit, I feel that most collections have lacked the coherence I yearn for. Typical favorites -- Phillip Lim, Brian Reyes -- had standout pieces but there were also bits I would consider downright unattractive and that's unusual. Here are a few designers I feel shined:
Proenza Schouler -- colorful, creative, coherent -- an overall beautiful collection
Jeremy Laing -- not sure if he showed in New York, but I've seen the looks from the collection online and it was great; lots of color blocks, greys, silks and even a bit of shimmer
Alexander Herchovitch -- the dress with cut-out shoulders killed me! Amazing.
Shipley and Halmos -- the beauty of a small collection (14 looks) is that you cut out all of the flab. Everything was perfect in this collection -- particularly the yellow sheath
Rodnik -- inventive and fun
Rodarte -- never my favorite aesthetically, but I appreciate their creativity
Alexander Wang -- more of the same, but I would wear every piece
BOY by Band of Outsiders -- ditto

Monday, February 4, 2008

So Far....

Neon Makeup
maxi skirts
slimmer shapes
menswear, again (not that I'm complaining)

Can We Call It the iBag?

The It bag is dead, so many have said. But I've noticed that in replace of the Chloe or the Balenciaga or the Marc, fashion's elite have embraced the iPhone. Never have I lusted after a gadget like this phone -- especially after going to shows this weekend and realizing I'm about the only fashion girl not to own one.

However, I've been told by the experts (aka my techie bf) that I need to wait until it's available with 3G technology -- the internet is much speedier. "It's the difference between dial up and DSL," he says. I suppose I'll wait until the summer to buy my iPhone -- just as long as I have it before September's fashion week!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

RIP, Beret

Anyone that has spent time with me during the last two winters knows of my devotion to my black beret. Because of my abnormally large head and even thicker hair, I've never worn at hat before this floppy, soft knit cap. It framed my face so nicely, and made me look like the little French girl I wish I was.

I am sad to report that on Saturday night, the hat was left in a cab. We didn't notice until the driver had sped off, but I must say, it put a damper on the weekend. The beret wasn't particularly expensive, but I know that Urban Outfitters no longer makes it. What bothered me more than losing the hat, however, was how upset it made me. Why do we become so attached to material things? Sometimes, they take on a life of their own, stirring up our memory banks.

But alas, it's time to move on and search for a new beret. I love the Louis Vuitton version featured in Nylon last month, but it's a little bit out of my league, pricewise. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Irks Me Beyond Belief: Sundance Photos

Every year, I become more annoyed with the stills from the Sundance Film Festival. These photo albums -- which document casts of indie movies in what is supposed to be an irreverent, playful manner -- are so contrived, grating and downright awful that I scream into an empty room the moment I see one on the pages of my favorite glossy.

Why do "scenes from Sundance" drive me so crazy? Other than the fact that they're totally artificial, they've all been "done" a thousand times over. Can't someone think of a more interesting way to capture the scene there? Clearly not.

Does anyone else share my frustration?

Monday, January 21, 2008

What to Watch During the Writers' Strike

I don't own a TV -- and I don't live in L.A. -- so it could be assumed I've barely been affected by the writers' strike. In reality, it has entirely interrupted my weekly schedule. I'm a hardcore online viewer, and now that Gossip Girl has run through the last of the new episodes, I'm feeling out-of-work Hollywood's pain. This weekend, I decided to catch up on stuff I've been meaning to take a look at -- some for the first time, some for the fortieth. (And yes, I do realize that watching The Muppets Take Manhattan at 25 is an odd move).

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Almost as good as Arrested Development, this absurd comedy about four friends and Danny Devito running a pub in Philadelphia makes me laugh. Out loud.

Maria Full of Grace. A pregnant Colombian girl decides to become a drug mule in order to make $5,000 for her family in this excellent film, which stars Catalina Sandino Moreno as Maria. Moreno is a breakout star -- her portrayal is at once naive and calculating. But she comes off, more than anything, as highly intelligent. Definitely worth Netflixing.

The Muppets Take Manhattan. I can't help it -- I love Kermie! I also love the scene with Miss Piggy and Joan Rivers working as makeup girls in Bloomingdales. Ah-mazing.

The Matrix. I know, I know, I can't believe I'd never seen it before either. I really loved it, and was looking forward to the sequels, until it was revealed to me that the sequels really sucked.

October Road. This series, about a writer who comes back to his small Massachusetts town after disappearing ten years earlier, is poorly written and lacks the sexual tension-filled story lines that nighttime soaps need to survive. Yet there's just something really likable -- an oddly real -- about the characters that makes me continue to watch. Plus, there's about five new episodes left before the well runs dry. I'm rooting for this mid-season replacement!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who Will Fill Isaacs Shoes?

As many of you may have heard, Isaac Mizrahi is leaving Target and moving to Liz Claiborne to head up their more-than-struggling women's wear line. As exciting as the rebirth of Liz Claiborne may sound, the news worries me. What will happen to Target's apparel sales? The Go International line does OK, but I have a hunch it's Mizrahi that really brings in the bucks. Here is some speculation on who might become the new face of Target fashion.

Possible Picks:
Michael Kors. He has a strong personality and and designs that are classic enough for the masses. Plus, he's already famous, thanks to Project Runway.

Nicole Miller. She's done well with her line for J.C. Penney's.

My Pick:
Kate Spade. The preppy handbag queen just got bought out -- by Liz Claiborne, actually. She's got the style and humor to match Target perfectly. And really, what is she up to other than decorating her summer home in the Hamptons in anticipation of May 2008? We're not sure. Kate, save Target!

(One little problem with KS, though -- I have a feeling she sold her actually NAME to LC, which means they'd have to name the line something different).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter Style Secrets

It's the dead-of-winter here in New York. Accept that it's really not. We've had few days of snow, and even fewer days of below-freezing temperatures. And even though I was freezing my butt off on New Year's Eve because of sort-of cold climes, I've yet to buy a ultra-heavy winter coat. (Don't ask my boyfriend about this -- let's just say that the sight of me running down Smith Street in Carroll Gardens wearing both his and my overcoat was not pretty).

There are, however, a few sacrifices you must make for dropping temperatures -- even when they haven't dropped that far. Here are the winter essentials that keep me looking mildly attractive:

Colored Tights. Solid black is a given -- colored tights add an off-kilter element to any outfit without going overboard. I love purple especially.
Flat, black boots. Brown if you tend to wear a lot of denim and more neutral colors.
Convertible fingerless gloves. I got mine at Muji years ago -- they make grabbing for cash and keys--without having to remove your gloves--easy.
A knit beret. I am fully aware that these can look silly. But I have big hair -- and big head. My beret is warm, comfy and doesn't mess up my hair.
Smith's Rosebud Salve. Nothing keeps my lips from flaking better than this stuff.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Model

I've noticed that several Web sites that focus on fashion also focus on the lives of models. But as obsessed as I am with fashion, I've never really cared about models, except when they've done something scandalous or smart -- both rarities, I'd say.

But I will admit to a mild obsession with the faces of the J.Crew catalog. Since high school, the natural beauty of those girls has inspired my look, even when their fashions were off the mark. I saw one of the girls at an East Village bar about a year ago and almost went up to her, declaring my admiration. Then I remembered that she's a model, and a model whose name I don't even know, and decided that would probably seem creepy.

In the last J.Crew catalog, I noticed this girl in particular, and determined she was my favorite model of the moment. Then I spied her on the Chanel resort runway. Her name is Lisa Cant. Yay for the J.Crew girl with the chops to do runway!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cultural Stimuli

Tonight, I'm attending a reading at Symphony Space of stories selected by Richard Prince, followed by a private viewing of his exhibit at the Guggenheim. (My terribly cultured friend Emme invited me as a Christmas present -- how lovely!)

I was also invited to, but had to pass up for obvious reasons, a meeting of the Secret Science Club at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Tonight, they're discussing dark matter with Princeton astrophysicist David Spergel.

I love checking out these lectures and other cultural events, but sometimes I feel as though I don't take enough advantage of the fact that I live in a city where it's all so accessible. I think I've finally settled on a New Year's resolution: get out to the museum, theatre and lecture space more than ever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Travel 2008

I've probably mentioned before that I as much as I love traveling, I also find it a bit daunting. However, this year I'm determined to enjoy my travels -- even if that means cutting back significantly on luggage by packing only two pairs of shoes per trip. Here's a tentative list of destinations. I'm looking forward discovering new places and appreciating the familiarity of others:

San Francisco

Others on my "if I win the lottery" list: Moscow, Vancouver, Paris (hope you're having fun, Julia!), Seattle, Portland, Prince Edward Island, Tokyo, Nepal....

Dillusions of Grandeur

As of late, I've been having these intense daydreams about winning the lottery, planning out specifics on how I would spend the money. Top purchase? Brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Maybe even the one I live in right now. I'll buy it, gut it, and restore the roof so that we can have parties up there without the worry that someone my fall off the sloping edge.

What would you spend your millions on if you won the lottery? And no, you can't say anything about establishing a charitable fund in your name. It has to be something ludicrous, like buying a $4 million dollar brownstone :).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Registering For Your...self.

I made a fancy dinner on Saturday night, and although quite delicious, it lacked a coherent table setting. I like the idea of vintage mix and match dishes but right now, mine look more like they're from the 99 cent store than Two Jakes. That's why I'm considering registering for Crate and Barrel's Classic Century dinner service. I've loved it for years, and I figure family and friends can buy me a piece here and there for birthdays and holidays. Or, my Grams can buy it in one swoop. Wink.

If you're weirded out by "registering" on a Web site like expectant mothers and engaged people do, there are now web applications like The Things I Want. With these, your family and friends can check out what's on your wish list, and then buy it.

I can't bring myself to sign up for one of these personal wish lists. For some reason, it makes me feel, well, for lack of a better word, icky. Would you create a personal wish list and send it to your friends?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Textiles 2008

Will we finally say so long to buffalo check? I'm still a fan but I have a hunch the popular print is on its last legs. Here's what I'm suspecting will become -- or remain -- popular for 2008.

Chevron. Jane Mayle made a very lovely scarf from chevron and Grace from Design Sponge has been searching for the perfect chevron carpet for ages now. I'd certainly be inclined to sport a chevron sweater with a sexy pencil skirt.

Plaid. Classic plaids are still going strong. I've already bought enough plaid shirts to last more than a few years, so now I'm turning to the ultimate check statement: a plaid kilt! I think one will look gorgeous with menswear-inspired oxfords and a loose, grungy t-shirt.

Silk. I've notices silk dress in the stores for Spring, and I like it. The velvety, muddled, fabric lets you wear jewel tones without the impact.

Textiles to stay away from?

Solid satin. Sure it's pretty for the holidays, but satin is a pain to care for. I have a mod mini dress made from brown satin that would get quite a bit more play in my wardrobe rotation if it wasn't so wrinkly.

Linen. Linen blends work, but unless you want to look like a wrinkled mess during hot and sweaty summer days, stay away from the 100% stuff. And please, boys, stay away from linen altogether. Unless you also favor Hawaiian shirts. This means you are beyond help.