Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One day...

...I shall have thee!

Mr. Dries Van Noten - why must this shoe cost a month's rent?

I know, I have to get over it. Thus is the life of a designer shoe.

It's hard being a shoe. But really, can't we negotiate? I mean, your adorable Mediterranean-esque pattern with its silver embossing and neon green accented heel...it's all just too much to live without. I don't think I can last...


$798 it is, eh?

Ok fine. I'll wait for Gilt Groupe.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Fashionable 40 Under 40

Remember when we all used to watch Project Runway religiously? Ok, so maybe I'm the only one who doesn't anymore. I guess after Christian, I felt it just lost a little pizazz. Or maybe it was just that he was impossible for anyone to live up to. Kind of like the first season of Idol - how could anyone's pipes top Kelly Clarkson?

Well if you don't agree that Christian was simply the best, I might pose an argument by citing this year's Crain's 40 Under 40. He's one of 'em - and rightfully so.

That fashion-savvy little man (who is relatively nice in person - though when I met him, his boyfriend Brad was way more adorable and friendly) has proven himself like no other and never ceases to amaze me with his creative fashion powers. So Christian, here's to your accomplishments - Congrats!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Hour

I'd been hearing all about this place in Time Out New York (since I randomly get a subscription to it without ever having asked to - not going to complain) called "Rye House." Apparently it's the new place to be. Since it's only four blocks down from the boyfriend's work, Wednesday after a long day of recruiting at the Purchase College Career Fair, I headed in, met him and we decided to check it out.

Our first indulgence was the Green Flash Double Stout, brewed in Cali with an 8.80% ABV. We split it because, well, I've become a light weight in my old age and can't handle too much brew though I do love it oh so much. This was a good one - VERY good. Sweet and smooth and creamy, just the way a stout should be. And extra full-bodied with a thick and milky head and chocolately goodness. Yummy.

The next treat was a Left Hand Milk Stout, a little less toxic at only 5.2% ABV, and since we split it, we effectively only had one beer each - totally manageable, and a cheap date to boot! This one is brewed in Colorado and was not nearly as impressive as the first, though not a bad pick. Had I to do it over, I would have switched the order, had the lighter one first. The Left Hand is a bit on the watery side for me - almost no head, but because it's light and mild, it's very easy to drink.

Next time, we're going to indulge in one of the specialty cocktails there - like the Appleseed Cobbler, with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Laird’s Bonded Applejack, cinnamon bark syrup and apples. Did someone say dessert?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time for More 'V's' - a Vegas Digression

So as promised in my last post which was (I shudder in embarrassment) almost two weeks ago - there are more V's to discuss. But since some of them are old news, I think it's best not to get caught up in their despair. I'll briefly summarize:

Verizon is a massive black hole of a company whose only concern is to take your money - preferably in the most unjust manner possible. You can try to fight them, but you will not win. Trust me, if there's any girl with fight in her for such things, it's me. And I lost...terribly. I admit, I'm not 100 percent over it, but I am moving on...

Another V - Las Vegas - is also old news at this point - though I will chat about that for at least a few moments since it's a happy digression. For the first time, I traveled to Las Vegas and thoroughly enjoyed myself, despite being sick, not drinking, and not going to a single bar or club the entire time. Sure, in the past, my Vegas trips have been fun, but they've also been a whirlwind of trade shows, too many people and lots of drinking. Lots.

This time, I took the trip alone to attend the Las Vegas Market Center week and the first ever "InspireDesign" trade show which took place within it. The shows had some noteworthy points, like my on-air interview with Nancy O'Dell (which was completely unplanned and unexpected - I didn't even know who she was until I got there and her "people" told me...that's why you get for not having TV).

Or the Italian exhibitor space with lion-head chairs and some other pretty cool items. But it was the alone time, the time to walk around and really take in the city, that I appreciated most.

I stayed in the three hotels at CityCenter, the just completed, mega-development right off the Strip near Planet Hollywood and New York, New York.

It wasn't easy switching hotels every single night, but it allowed me to really experience the hospitality venues at CityCenter, and I'm glad I got a full-picture of them.

During my time in Vegas, I had the good fortune of making it OFF the Strip for the first time. I visited Todd-Avery Lenahan, of ABA Design Studio, in his offices near the "Red Rock" I've always heard about.

I didn't have too long to enjoy the view, but I at least got to see what it was all about and started to realize the appeal of living in and around Vegas. Before this trip, I never could comprehend why anyone in their right mind would willingly go to Sin City. And suddenly - driving down what seemed like a never-ending road leading straight into the rock - I realized that this place is breathtaking.

There's much more I could go on about from the trip, like my first time to a restaurant in Vegas I actually enjoyed, which - go figure - is not a hip, new, trendy spot, but an old standby; Mon Ami Gabi, inside Paris.

Or I could talk about the less than amazing dinner I had at - go figure - a few new and trendy restaurants in the city. I could even talk all about some more happy happenings, like the new friends I made from Hunter Douglas Hospitality. But I will leave you with this, and perhaps this is directed toward one or two people in particular, but it translates:

Las Vegas? I like it now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Series of V's: Part I - Volvo on a Mission...to End my Sanity

I am really bad at resolutions. I mean, really bad. Look at this – the third blog in 2010. I had promised I would write one a week. What’s with me? Ugh. Well – I suppose I should cut myself a SMALL break since life has been pretty stressful over in Sleepy Hollow/Ossining/NYC/Las Vegas/Cayman Islands and various other pit stops which I will try to tell you stories about in the coming weeks. I can pretty much boil the stress of the past few months down to a few things, and somehow they all begin with V – perhaps a vendetta? Too coincidental not to be, I think.

The first V would be for Volvo…and I will leave this entry solely for that. In the coming blogs you’ll get to hear my rants about my other V gripes – and of course I will intersperse that with some happy thoughts, so as not to spread my cynicism TOO far and wide. (This plan of course being dependent on whether or not I can actually stick to my blogging resolution.) Just to tease you, some of the V's involved include Verizon, Vegas and venom. But for now, back to the number one V – yes, my trusty 1996 Volvo has betrayed me folks…and we’re still in a fight – a big one. And just as a warning, if you have ZERO interest in cars or car stories - this is not for you.

It all began about a month and a half ago when in the parking lot of Stop & Shop my car decided it would not like to start. With much persuasion, and coaching from the one and only Uncle Walter (he is THE Volvo man for those of you who didn’t know – and pretty much the greatest uncle ever), it started, but immediately stalled once I thought it might be nice to drive it instead of sitting there with it running in park. Then came the towing – to the Getty down the street where for the next week a dialogue – mostly in sophisticated Spanglish – took place between myself and “George” which went something like this:

Hola George. Como esta mi auto?
George: It’s no ready yet.
Me: Ok. When – ur – cuando…ready?
George: Maybe today, maybe tomorrow.

After a few days, the car was finally “ready” after the team of mecanicos had determined my timing belt had jumped, for no particular reason. When I went to retrieve it, alas, it would not start again.

Guess it’s not ready, huh Jorge? I mean George.

Well, I tol you you need a tune-up.
Me: You didn’t tell me that George.
George: Yes, Willy say you need tune-up, new spark plug, wires…
Me: Well George, "Willy" didn’t tell me I need tune-up for mi auto to start!

I gave them the clearance to do the spark plugs and some other minor fix ups…the rest would be left for someone I could trust and knows what they are doing; aka Uncle Walter.

A week or two later, after a trip home to CT and a thorough investigation from UW, the car was driving well, everything seemed grand. So, imagine my surprise when on a Friday night, as I'm preparing to make the 45 minute trip to Queens for the weekend (with plans to leave from Dan's house on Sunday for JFK to Las Vegas) I'm driving at a steady 40 miles an hour, and my car starts bucking, is nearly going to stall or do something equally terrifying, and the Check Engine light begins to incessantly blink. Obviously Jorge and Willy's spark plugs didn't do the trick, and somehow managed to fool UW with a job that had masked whatever was the real problem. I decided it was time for the big guns: the White Plains Volvo shop.

After their professional investigation, they conclude, "You need new spark plugs." Might I remind you, I just got some 'a those. Reeeaaaaallllly would prefer NOT to buy more. This week.


A mandatory consultation with UW, who also consulted with the White Plains Volov man, left me with no choice but to listen to him and let them do the spark plugs. Again. All was well...for a while....

One week later, as I'm again driving 40 miles an hour down this same road (adjacent to the cemetery which perhaps is some eerie sign), the car starts misbehaving again.

I immediately have a breakdown. Not the car. Me. Crying, panicking, hysterics, you name it. I am DONE with this car. I call UW, cry, complain, whine, etc. He is helpless as he is in CT and I am in NY. Neither of us have an answer.

So back to the Volvo dealer she went. They kept her for three days. Drove 70 miles. Nothing happened. I was left with no choice but to take her back into my rightful arms, though at this point those arms weren't exactly open and welcoming.

I've since had it for about two weeks - and while it has acted up slightly, it doesn't seem to want to show me what's really wrong. I'm beginning to feel like a player in a troubled relationship where an underlying massive issue looms, but the person having it is too afraid to say it aloud for fear of that problem becoming real and thus needing a solution. Maybe my Volvo is ready to quit on me, but she can't muster up the courage to say so.

Is it because I never gave you a name? If you're listening, I haven't quit you yet! (Though I must say you sure are testing me.)

If anyone HAS gotten through all of this and has any suggestions or knowledge of cars - I'm all ears.