Commuting Through Time: New York

26/01/2012 § 2 Comments

A few places I pass by every day on my daily commute…

Grand Central Terminal

Fifth Avenue.

The “hidden” City Hall stop…

Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Field Notes: (capsule) womens

20/09/2011 § 2 Comments

Dropped by (capsule) womens this weekend and was pleased to get an early look at what S/S 2012 has in store for the ladies.  While it does feel slightly strange to be looking at shorts when it’s just getting to be sweater weather, I’m definitely not complaining.  Let’s get real.  As always, (capsule) provided the opportunity to catch up with familiar brands (and faces) and make a few new discoveries as well.

Penfield. Love the color and clasp.

Species by the Thousands.  Magnified chic.

Wm. J. Mills & Co.  Lovely ladylike options.

Vintage Mills labels.

Made Me: Schott Perfecto x Liberty London lining

In God We Trust.  Lady bowties, cufflinks.

Cheeky hand-inscribed flask.

Bridge and Burn.  Through the menswear blogs, I was already aware of Bridge and Burn, but I didn’t know they also designed for women.  Display a distinct menswear influence, factor in a very well-placed use of contrast (linings, waistbands, zippers) and copiously use navy, red, stripes and plaid, and I’m pretty much sold.  I want it all.  Was also very pleased to chat up owner/designer Erik Prowell.

Bliss Lau. The Fathom.  In. Love.
The Fathom is a double ring that can be worn together or separately.
That gorgeous purple stone is a gem called “Viking’s Compass.”

Worn by designer Bliss Lau herself.  Can we talk about that amaze manicure?

Just When I Thought I Was Out… {Ralph Lauren Collection Spring 2012}

16/09/2011 § 2 Comments

…they keep pulling me back in.”  — Michael Corleone

I suppose I should have never doubted that Ralph Lauren would be my favorite from NYFW.  We go way, way back.  And this time around I flirted with the idea of another man, but the indomitable Mr. Lauren didn’t care.  He waited.  He reclinated.  He knew that when he would drop his glittering collection on my head, I’d come running right back to his side.  He knew that I wouldn’t ever be able to say no to him…

The man was right.

For spring 2012, while most other collections showed influences of the 1930s and 40s, Mr. Lauren reached back even further to a decade he is most comfortable with — the 1920s.  And why not?  His costumes for Jack Clayton’s Gatsby are constantly referenced by fashion and costume designers.  Why not seize upon spring’s nostalgia, ratchet up the glamour and hit his own sweet spot?  Textbook really.  These are clothes for both Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker, and you probably already know I tend to like Jordan a bit more…  If you were looking for 1920s with an edge, for the ironic jazz age, you won’t find it here, because that is not what Mr. Lauren does.  You need to go talk to Thom Browne if that’s what you want, because that’s what he showed this week.  Mr. Lauren is unfailingly earnest, and you will either find this boring, or love it to death as I do.  Ralph Lauren is not an iconoclast — he is an icon.  And it is a dying breed at that…

Mr. Lauren’s spring 2012 is iridescent, feathered, and jeweled.  It is club-collared, double-breasted and cuffed.  The palazzo pant is making a return.  You better learn how to tie a tie and how to wear a cloche hat.  And above all, get thyself to a fabulous ball because these gorgeous silk gowns, they are screaming to be worn.

Now, I had to restrain myself here.  Of course I wanted to post it all down to the last drop, but if you really want to see every outfit, you can head over to Vogue for that.  And I highly recommend you do because photographer Marcio Madeira had a field day.  His shots are A.Maz.Ing.  What I wanted to share with you, were some of my favorite looks, coupled with some of my favorite detail shots  (Madeira blew my mind with these — I have yet to see any other runway detail shots that are this lavish, this indulgent).

Ready? Let’s Charleston…

“Let’s, let’s stay together
Loving you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…”

Well done, sir.

All images via Vogue.

Auction: Doyle New York: The Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

12/09/2011 § 1 Comment

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in 1938.
December 9, 1909 – May 7, 2000

Over the weekend, I dropped by Doyle New York on the Upper East Side to peruse the estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., due to be sold tomorrow morning, September 13, at 10am.  Fairbanks, son of screen legend Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and his first wife Anna; and stepson to his father’s second wife — screen legend in her own right — Mary Pickford; was Hollywood royalty.  Encouraged by his father and stepmother, Fairbanks, Jr. began acting at a young age in silent films, eventually working in “talkies” and on the stage, and became quite the leading man.

During the second World War, Fairbanks, Jr. served as a reserve officer in the US Navy, where he trained with the British Royal Navy through an officer exchange program headed by Lord Mountbatten, a friend of his father, Fairbanks, Sr.  Fairbanks, Jr. returned to the states where he was instrumental in the creation of the Beach Jumper program, a special naval unit specializing in misinformation and deception.  After the war, he returned to acting.

Fairbanks, Jr. was married three times — once to Joan Crawford! — and had three daughters.  He was a rather acquisitive fellow who enjoyed the best of everything.  This auction of his estate contains more than 400 lots of jewelry, memorabilia, clothing, furniture and artwork.  I was most excited to see the clothing and personal effects and came away quite impressed…and also full of antique lust, but that’s to be expected.

Wearing the platinum, diamond and turquoise set pictured above.

Loved Fairbanks’ Rolodexes.

Decorated war hero, Hollywood star…fan of Lily Pulitzer resort wear?

Brook Club crest and lighter

Patek Philippe Gold Wristwatch
Grouped with below photo of Fairbanks wearing the watch, with Marlene Dietrich

Images via QC, LIFE and Doyle New York

Some of the lots are estimated to go as low as $100 – $200, like these ties pictured above.  So if old Hollywood, fine menswear and classic personal accessories appeals to you, you may want to mosey over to Doyle New York tomorrow morning and see what’s what.  Or perhaps place a bid from afar.  Just don’t you bid on anything that I have my eye on…

The Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Auctioned by Doyle New York
View the full catalog here

Featured: Quite Continental on Racked NY ~ “Shopping Confidential”

07/09/2011 § 2 Comments

Just a short note to let you know I’ve been featured elsewhere on the interwebs.  I wrote a brief post for Racked New York’s “Shopping Confidential” series about one of my favorite sources for vintage art in New York City.

To read it, head here.

Summer in New York: Happy Bastille Day

14/07/2011 § 1 Comment

Military planes in formation, 1954 parade

Bastille Day has arrived.  This national holiday in France commemorates the storming of the Bastille, considered to be the beginning of the French Revolution.  Today, France puts on the world’s oldest and largest military parade (ongoing since 1880, almost without exception), down Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

François de La Rocque, leading the parade in 1935.

While many New York celebrations took place over the last weekend, there are still a few places where you can raise a glass in honor of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” today.  Eater has done an excellent round-up, available here.  My favorites are the free bottle of Veuve to Marie Antoinette impersonators at Artisanal and the pétanque tournament at Cercle Rouge with big band performances.

How will you celebrate Bastille Day?

Actress Elke Sommer playing pétanque.

Fotos: Scenes from a New York Staycation {aka 4th of July weekend}

05/07/2011 § 4 Comments

Brooklyn Bridge.

First off, apologies to those of you that already follow me on Instagram, because these shots will be a bit repetitive.  I had a guest from LA visit me for a few days and I took some time off this week to wander around the city and be a tourist too.  I also managed to get some beach time, heading out on my first trip to Fort Tilden.  Also caught Woody Allen’s latest and greatest.  All in all, a welcome and much-needed minibreak.

Father Demo Square

Babycakes Vegan Bakery

Trinity Church

Bubby’s Pie Co

Stone Street

Washington Square Park

Petrossian restaurant in the Alwyn Court Building

The Chrysler Building

East River Bridges

Getting to Fort Tilden was quite easy.  Catch a ferry from Pier 11, enjoy a few drinks on hourlong boat ride (which passes underneath the Verrazano and goes past Coney Island), and get dropped off a block away from the beach.  While it’s not the most family-friendly set up (not a lot of bathrooms or concession stands and no lifeguards at all) the beach is beautiful and usually rather deserted.  If you’re so inclined, clothing-optional sunbathing is fine.  I kept it continental, but I did see a few fully nude gents and ladies — so if that’s not your thing, consider yourself forewarned.

Verrazano Bridge

“The observatory deck on top of Battery Harris East, a historic gun site, offers dramatic views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor, and is a great vantage point to spot migrating birds.”

Saturday’s summer storm in SoHo.

On Saturday I popped by the Angelika Theatre to see Midnight in Paris (a must see!) with Marisa, and then did a lovely bit of wandering, culminating with us solidly parking ourselves in the window seat of Mud Coffee in the East Village for a few hours.

Battery Park Marina

Evidently there are tango dancers in Union Square every Sunday…

Picnicking in Central Park

One World Trade Center.

This one’s for Grete…

13/06/2011 § Leave a comment

At the start corrals.

This weekend, I got myself up extra early on Saturday morning to run the 40th annual New York Mini 10k in Central Park, my first road race since running the New York Marathon in November.  Joined by more than 5,000 women, the experience was not only personally rewarding (I was satisfied with my performance, even though I did not seriously train) but quite unique.  I hadn’t ever participated in a women-only race, and running alongside women of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors and running styles on the 6.2 mile course was an amazing feeling.  The winner was Linet Masai of Kenya, who finished the course with a time of 31:40.  I came in second.  Just kidding.

The Mini 10K debuted in 1972, founded by New York running guru Fred Lebow (who also founded the New York Marathon), as the first strictly women-only race.  The race was held this year in honor of Norwegian marathon legend and 5-time Mini winner Grete Waitz.

Grete Waitz in 1977

I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with Grete’s story until after the race, where I noticed many of the runners and supporters wearing shirts that said they were “running this one for Grete.”  Grete Waitz was truly a ground-breaking athlete and I am quite in awe of her story.  Not only because of her amazing athletic achievements, but mainly because Grete ran at a time when female athletes were not as well-funded and supported as they are today and when female marathon runners were a distinct minority.

A highly decorated runner, Grete won races and broke records all over the world.  The first time she ran the New York City Marathon (in 1978), she won it and broke the world record — and then went on to win it 8 more times after that.  Grete advanced women’s long distance running through her excellence on the road and her dedication behind the scenes after she retired from competitive running.

Grete died of cancer in April of this year and was given a state funeral in her native Norway, only the sixth Norwegian woman so honored.  Her husband, Jack, honored her memory by running the 10k this Saturday (after visiting a deli for breakfast — their tradition when visiting New York).

And so, I ran this one for Grete, too.

0 Weeks to the NYC Marathon: Nov 7, 2010 Here I Come…

05/11/2010 § Leave a comment

Goal over the last year: To somehow morph from total non-exerciser to actual runner and run the New York City Marathon

Actual progress: Hundreds of miles, multiple races, new friends, increased strength, two pairs of running shoes

Goal this week: 26.2 miles through the 5 boroughs of NYC!

So here we are.  Just hours away from my first step on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as I prove to myself that I can run the NYC Marathon.  I have a myriad of feelings this close to the race.  I am proud of how far I have come over the past year.  I’m excited to run with thousands of people through the streets of New York.  I’m nervous about the weather since it’s been raining a bit.  I’m anxious to see if I can actually run 26.2 miles. I am a little stressed out about all the things I have to remember for Sunday.  And, a small part of me is looking forward to a change of pace and not being in training…

It’s been a fun year.  I’ve seen how easy it is to become a runner and then become a runner that can run upwards of twenty miles.  When I say “easy,” I am of course laying aside the amount of commitment this much training requires.  Lacing up your shoes and jogging around the block once is easy.  Whats difficult is getting up and doing it over and over again.   It can be addicting, but don’t get me wrong – I remember how much I disliked the early runs.  Getting through just 30 minutes took serious effort and I attribute most of my success to having great Team in Training teammates.  Training for this marathon has been a little different.  I have not had the same support network this time around and in the beginning I privately doubted that I would be able to log the long runs all by myself.  Surprisingly, with a strong foundation I was able to summon the strength to go it alone and actually grow to like it.  While nothing beats a Central Park loop with your girlfriends while catching up on the latest dating disasters, I came to find running alone an important time for me to reflect.  As my time alone on the road stretched upwards of three hours, my mind had more and more uninterrupted space to fill with ideas and schemes and plans.  While I never once have felt a “runners high” – I have to think that this is the next best thing.

Running is a solitary sport, but when you become a runner you kind of join a huge team.  Whether you are just starting out, or training for your 30th marathon, so many people will share common ground with you and will love to talk about everything from clothes to food to strategy.  When you are out on the road, if you run somewhere a lot of people run (for me Central Park or the Hudson in NYC or along the bike path in Santa Monica), you feel a solidarity with your “teammates” even if you don’t really acknowledge each other — and when you do talk to someone at a water fountain or tell a beginner “great job!” that connection feels even stronger.  I can’t urge you enough to start running.  Or jogging.  Or walking.  Just get out there.

Back to the marathon.  So yes, I am a little jittery.  I am supposed to already be asleep, actually.  But I decided to polish my nails first — OPI’s “Big Apple Red” seemed like the perfect shade.  I’ve already started laying out my clothes and all the necessary bits and pieces for race day:

  • Bib (that’s my number), d-tag (the little electronic chip I attach to my shoe), safety pins
  • Running clothes:  It’s been a little chilly the last few days and they are forecasting that it will be in the 30s in the morning on raceday, and possibly warm up to 50.  As of right now I am planning to wear a short sleeved shirt with a long sleeved shirt underneath and full length tights.  I’m also planning on gloves because my hands get ridiculously cold and then turn numb — always fun.
  • Throw away clothes:  The time between arrival and start is more than two hours.  It’s best to wear clothes that you can throw away along the race (don’t worry, they are collected and donated!)
  • Rain poncho or (even more alluring) garbage bag to wear/sit on if it is rainy or wet (and it always is)
  • Tissues
  • Race food
  • Some kind of plan or strategy

Crap.  A plan.  My plan?  I really don’t have one, aside from wanting to finish.  I don’t want to fixate on beating some specific time because I really need to focus on harnessing my energy and running efficiently, but when I hear that Oprah did the Marine Corp Marathon in 4.29, I get a little itchy to beat her.  My PR on a half marathon is just around 2 hours and you are supposed to multiply your PR for a half by two and then add 10 minutes for your marathon time.  So maybe…  Anyway, Katie Holmes did the NYC in 5.29.  I’m definitely sure I can do better.  Maybe.  Don’t hold me to that.

I am enjoying my farewell to carbs tour and will top it off with the traditional pre-marathon Italian dinner tomorrow night.  Pasta, adios.  You were always good to me.  Brown rice and sweet potatoes, I’ll see you around.  Potato samosas and naan, I am going to miss you most of all.

When I am out there I will be thinking about how far I have come and everyone and everything that has helped me achieve this goal.  I am deeply indebted to my family and friends who have tolerated non-stop racing talk and my crazy strict dieting and imbibing rules.  I owe eons of gratitude to a very special person who helped secure my entry into the race, even if I wasn’t sure at all times I could do it, or wanted to do it.  Millions of mercis to Patricia Moreno for creating IntenSati (and Erin Stutland and Natalia Petrzela for spreading the gospel), Michelle Taylor at Pilates on Fifth, Keren at Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates, Equinox, coconut water, Clif Bar & Co, Pump Energy Food, Smartwater, and lululemon athletica.  Last, but not least, muchas gracias to my mom who is here to see the race, to my special team of pacers who will be jumping in with me for a few miles and to those of you who will be cheering me on (wherever you might be).

Alright, here goes nothing.

Happy running!

6 Weeks to the NYC Marathon: You Are What You Eat – Don’t Bonk!

30/09/2010 § Leave a comment

Goal last week: 27 miles (5 miles, 19 miles, 3 miles)

Actual mileage: 20 miles (17 miles, 3 miles)

Goal this week: 28 miles (5 miles, 20 miles, 3 miles)

Dear readers, I must ask your forgiveness as I skipped a week in detailing my training and progress.  I am faulting my mismanagement of my diet for this lapse in training and posting!  As I noted in an earlier post, I did the BluePrintCleanse last week for 3 days.  While I completely believe in the benefits of detoxing and will do it again in the near future, it was not the best idea for me to try to do this in the midst of training.  In order to prepare for the detox, you have to make changes to your diet – remove dairy, meat, processed foods, and eventually cooked foods – and you have to slowly phase these foods back in when you come off the program.  It is definitely an aggressive removal of carbohydrates and additional calories, which would be okay for someone just working out a few times a week, not someone trying to run close to 20 miles in one go.  So this meant that I attempted one long run during the phase-in period, and another in the phase-out period (and in between runs, the only thing I “ate” were the juices).  Both runs were bad, and it was rather discouraging.

I have belatedly realized I am much too close to race day to try to fiddle with my diet.  Right now, I should be concentrating on maxing out my carbohydrates, fluids and salt – having only juice for three days is just foolish.  This last weekend, I actually attempted to run 20 miles, but I estimate I only managed to run about 17 of those miles and walked the rest.  My energy level was low to begin with, and when I attempted to remedy that by eating my energy gels, it immediately upset my stomach because I had not had any processed foods in my system for over a week.  I then tried to drink some Gatorade (side note: always carry some money with you on your long runs in case you need something you didn’t think to bring with you!) and that didn’t help at all.  The day was warm and I was out much later than I wanted to be because I wasn’t running…  So I bonked, and bonked hard.  I completely walked the last mile, I felt woozy and weak, I tried to sit down for a moment but that made me feel even worse, somehow.  It was an awful run and I decided to never repeat it.  The only bright spot was the fact that I did see Ethan Hawke running along the Hudson River complete with stoller, kid and dog.

This week, I have put new emphasis on eating enough food — and the right balance of foods — to keep my feeling strong for my long runs.  Lots of whole grains, lean proteins and good fats.  I went on a 5 mile run on Tuesday and I felt great!  I am sure that my body is strong enough to run 20 miles, the question is if there is enough gas in the tank…

Stay tuned as I attempt 20 miles this weekend!  Happy Running!

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