Monday, August 31, 2009

If Booties Went To Heaven...

...they'd look like these Chanel lovelies, complete with chain detailing, a sweet bow, a wearable 3" heel, and the cap-toed interlocking Cs! In all honesty, Chanel shoes (and Prada/Miu Miu ones) are enormously wearable and impeccably made. Although Chanel will, like other designers, create sky-high heels, the brand still makes comfortable shoes every season for the practical fashionista. (These booties are made with a cushion right at the arch for extra support!)
Thanks for the sweet comments about the MIA Oscar booties. I do find it odd that they weren't "purchased" by any of the Oscar boutiques. Please let me know if you espy them anywhere!
I was tempted to call this post "Teachers Everywhere Are Suffering From a Mild Depression" because I go back to school this Wednesday. It's always sad to say goodbye to a deliciously long, carefree summer (although I do work every summer, it does not compare to the usual stresses of a typical school year). Last night I finally went to see the last production of Euripides' The Bacchae, playing at the Delacorte Theatre (Shakespeare in the Park's second play of the summer). The parallels between that gruesome play and my HBO addiction True Blood are uncanny! And what's particularly odd is that someone screamed in the audience after the character on stage did--only to ask for help. A commotion ensued, and when we were exiting the theatre, we saw an ambulence on its way. I can only hope that that person was okay.
Enjoy the last remaining days of summer!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

So Tragic

Chloe Sevigny in the June 2009 issue of Elle US
My hunt for these spectacular Oscar de la Renta pre-fall gold-studded booties has left me empty-handed. (I apologize for the small picture; I can't find a close-up of these!) Not a single NYC vendor, including the Madison Avenue Boutique, sells them.

On the Pre-fall Runway Show
Has anyone seen these?!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Next To Normal / Next To Morrison

Silk Dress and Snakeskin Belt: Vintage (Mother's)
Sandals: Miu Miu
Anaconda Bag: Bottega Veneta
One of my lovely house guests thoughtfully gave my husband and me tickets to see Next to Normal, a Broadway musical about a dysfunctional family's struggle with mental illness and loss. Out of all of the musicals I've ever seen, this one has got to be the darkest. Several people near me in the audience were sobbing!
The actress who plays the mother, Alice Ripley, stole the show. It's not surprising that she won the 2009 Tony for the Best Actress in a Musical.

After the show, the cast members came out to sign playbills. This pretty girl is Jennifer Damiano, who plays the neglected, screwed-up daughter.

J. Robert Spencer, who plays the patient but devastated father/husband
Last Wednesday, my house guest and I went to hear Nobel-Prize winner Toni Morrison talk about her latest book, A Mercy, with NPR's Michele Norris at Barnes and Noble.

Click on this link for some wonderful old photos of Toni Morrison and here to listen to an older interview about the novel between the two women. This was my second time hearing Ms. Morrison live (the first time was at the New York Historical Society), and once again I was moved by her gentle strength and crackly voice.
On an unrelated note, the glamorous Hanh of Life in Travel has kindly given me a blog award! Thanks, sweetie!
I'm supposed to reveal "Ten True Things About Me," so here goes:
1. I've had two near-death encounters, both with moving vehicles (#1 involved a car crash in which I totaled my car, and #2 involved a bicycle crash on a Hawaiian volcano). I'm very happy to still be alive.
2. Since I was a child, I have had an acute aversion to physical exercise. I've never liked playing sports, but if I had to choose, I'd pick any sport in which the moving object/ball travels away from me (e.g. archery, bowling), rather than toward me (e.g. baseball, basketball).
3. I am almost fanatical about sunblock. Sometimes I wear sunblock over my SPF-laden moisturizer.
4. My favorite fruits are blueberries, mangoes, and pomegranates.
5. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, but since I'm too lazy to cook that early, I have to wait until weekend brunch. My all-time favorite meal would entail a sampling of all breakfast-related foods.
6. I am NOT a picky eater. In fact, I will eat almost anything (provided it isn't an insect, rotten, or still alive).
7. I am addicted to True Blood. Team Eric!
8. When it comes to movies, I have eclectic taste. I enjoy everything BUT horror movies.
9. I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and most sci-fi/fantasy movies. I can say "To be, or not to be" in Klingon. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is one of my all-time favorite movies.
10. I am the middle child in my family.
Thanks again for reading and commenting on my blog. I appreciate each and every comment that you leave!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Get a Leg Up: Over-the-Knee Boots

La Lamphear Demonstrating How to Properly Wear Thigh-Highs (Photo Credit: Jak & Jill Blog)

Geraldine Saglio Showing Off her Slim Jims (Photo Credit: same as above)

Although thigh-high boots have been associated with women of the night and other scantily clad, morally questionable females, this seemingly daunting new fall accessory trend is actually very wearable--and done right, one needn't anticipate wanton cat calls by seedy men. The key is coverage: wear them with longer tunics/mini dresses, shorts with tights, and skinny pants/jeans/leggings. The extra layer of leather will keep you looking warm and chic in the upcoming chilly months. Personally, I think suede versions are less intimidating and more flexible; don't hesitate to wear a suede pair with your au courant leather shorts. Choose flat versions to lessen the sex appeal for more wearability.

Some High/Low Options:
1. Dolce Vita "Stud" OTK Boots, $355: These remind me of Chloe's starburst shoes from a few seasons back. You can kill two birds with one stone with these (studs and OTK boots).

2. Steve Madden Xcept Black Suede Boots, $299.95: The platform and heel on these add interest.

3. Chanel Lambskin Cap-toe Thigh-High "Paris-Moscou" Boots: These babies are on my wish list. (Actually, nearly everything from the Paris-Moscou line is on my wish list.) The decorated wedge heel is what makes these not only wearable but also very unique.

4. Guiseppe Zanotti Suede Platform Boots, $1,225: Yes, they're quite expensive, but you're getting your money's worth with Zanotti. His shoes are extremely well made, not to mention gorgeous and comfortable.

5. Guiseppe Zanotti OTK Croc-Embossed Boots, $1,225: I couldn't resist adding another pair of Zanottis. I'm a sucker for any animal skin, embossed or real.

Sorry for the lack of posts recently; this week was extremely busy (I had another out-of-town guest for the second week in a row), and I also caught a cold! Thankfully, I'm in the last stages of my cold.

I also want to thank Sofie from ModeDiktat and Kat from Mango Girl for their thoughtful and lovely blog awards and Grace from VitaMinn for kindly mentioning me on her fabulous blog. Thanks, ladies--I feel really honored!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Leopard Can't Change Its Spots

Leopard prints are hot again for fall, and they come in an assortment of styles, colors, and price points. Cardigans are perhaps the easiest way to wear this trend--throw one over a black shift, jeans, or a pencil skirt.

Cropped Ruffle Flyaway Cardigan, $49.50 at Express

Crumpet Leopard-print Cashmere Cardigan, $350 at Net-a-porter

Two-tone Leopard-print Cardigan, $19.80 (also available in red) at Forever 21

White + Warren Leopard Cashmere Crew-neck Cardigan, $255 at Neiman Marcus

Tory Burch Ainsley Leopard-print Merino Wool Cardigan, $295 at Nordstrom

To celebrate my brother's job offer, my brother, husband, and I headed over to Blue Smoke (27th between Park and Lex) for some hearty BBQ. Although we didn't go to the lounge part of the restaurant, apparently it's also known for its soulful live jazz music.

The colorful, neon exterior with that retro feel

The art consisted of over-sized wooden boards decorated with sparkly mosaic tiles (the kid sitting under it eerily reminds me of James Franco; click to enlarge)

Overhanging tin (?) Christmas-y stars

Appetizer #1: Heirloom Tomatoes with Goat Cheese Fritters, Arugula, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic

Appetizer #2: Yellowfin Tuna Taco Trio

Entree #1: Kansas City Ribs. WARNING: Do not attempt to eat this on a first date!

Entree #2: Sliced Texas Beef Brisket with Mashed Potatoes and Crispy Onions
Please let me know if you'd like me to continue including food and restaurant pictures. My blog is starting to evolve...I want to know if this evolution works for you! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Afghan and Aliens

Blouse: 3.1 Philip Lim
Pants: Vena Cava for Gap
Cuff: Hermes
Bag and Wedges: Fendi
For quality Afghan food in a cozy, homey setting, my husband and I like to go to Bamiyan, located on 3rd and 26th in Murray Hill. While it's great for dinner, it's even better for lunch (a mere $21.95 for a hearty meal for two).
The mosaic walls and carved wooden door

The richly decorated bar and part of the restaurant

Shir-Chay: This wondrous concoction of milk tea with sugar, cardamom, and rose petals is my favorite kind of tea. I could live on this!

Kadu: Pumpkin Turnovers with Yogurt Dip (although this is an appetizer, it tastes like a dessert...yum...)

Mantoo: Steamed Meat Dumplings with Yogurt and Meat Sauce

Sib Chalow with Chicken: Tender boneless chicken breast with fresh apple slices, split peas, and cinnamon: this entree has a hint of sweetness
After enjoying our early dinner, we watched District 9, Peter Jackson's most recent sci-fi movie about aliens in Johannesburg, South Africa. A die-hard sci-fi lover, I was initially hesitant about this movie, but it did not disappoint. A. O. Scott's cogent review does retell most of the movie's plot, but his last line certainly captures the heart of the movie: "It suggests that sometimes the only way to become fully human is to be completely alienated." The movie is more than an action-packed sci-fi thriller (although it certainly is that); it explores humanity's savagery (with historical undercurrents of apartheid and xenophobia) and possible redemption. Using aliens as a metaphor, District 9 is really a movie about mankind.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Taking Cues

After neglecting all of my dainty jewelry for some time now, I decided to follow fellow blogger Marian--who is the queen of mixing and matching jewelry--and stack my bracelets for a chunky, funky vibe. Individually, each piece runs the risk of seeming too precious in today's hard-nosed fashion climate; together, they add a certain heft that works to neutralize some of my more feminine looks.

How about you: which bloggers have influenced your style or given you an idea, which you have implemented?

Queen Marian demonstrating here how it's done

On my way to the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe in the Lower East Side for the Moth Story Slam, I passed by this droll metallic sculpture garden. The garden itself was gated, so I had to stick my camera through the bars to get some shots.

For those of you who don't know, The Moth, a not-for-profit organization, hosts regular story slams in different venues around the city. Storytellers must prepare a concise 5-minute story on a particular theme (last night's theme was food) and submit their names in a hat before the show begins. Ten names are randomly selected throughout the night. Judges rate them on various criteria (my friends and I were selected last night to judge!), and the winners from each slam go on to the Grand Slam for a final showdown. The stories were hilarious, poignant, ironic, and well crafted--everything that reminds you why people love a good story told face to face.

A shot of the interesting artwork (which reminds me a little of William Blake's art) and various scalped heads

The eager and cheerful crowd before showtime. All I can say is fire hazard!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brunch at Sushi Samba

Satin Jacket: Oscar de la Renta
Camisole: Old Navy
Necklace: Vintage Key with Urban Outfitters Chain
Bracelets: Van Cleef and Arpels and Black Pearl bracelet (from Hawaii)
Jeans: Rock & Republic
Wedges: Christian Louboutin
Bag: Louis Vuitton
Gramercy Park: Unfortunately, this is one of those rare gated parks, open only to select residents. (I remember seeing a lot of those in London, but I rarely see them in New York.) Gorgeous, isn't it?
Most people aren't aware of Sushi Samba's incredible brunch value: $15 per person for a four-course family-style meal with an eclectic menu of standard American brunch fare with Asian and Spanish influences. If you go to the Park Avenue South branch, ask for Mark. He's one of the best waiters I've ever had, and my husband and I always get the VIP treatment with him.
Course #1: Smoked Fish Platter with White Fish, Salmon, Trout and Homemade Bagel Chips (not seen):

Course #2: Sushi Roll (we usually substitute the Sunday Samba Roll for the Shrimp Tempura roll):

Course #3: Asian Pear Pancakes: so light and fluffy!

Course #4: Carmen Miranda (Fruit, Granola, and Yuzu Yogurt)

Somewhat random: I espied this dramatically dressed woman (on the left) and managed to get a shot of her back. Her shoes were killer:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!