Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Walking Papers

July 17, 2014

 

8034100025This summer, New York City will host 53 million tourists. While we love the international flare and the added income it brings to our fair city, we frankly hate the crowds who seem unable to keep up with the flow.

You know who you are. The groups of people, strolling along idly, side by side on the street, three or more abreast making it almost impossible to get past you. And we need to get past you. Please walk in clusters of no more than two, stick to the right side, and even better, keep up with the flow.

It’s called a sidewalk, not a stand there and gawk walk. If you wish to stop and look up at our lovely skyline, please step aside to do so. Same story with texting, photo ops and general rubber necking. We need to get past you.

1806700078As hard as it is to believe, we have places to go, people to see and things to do. This is why we need to get past you. While Chelsea Market is an amazing place, with all of it’s remarkable food shops and cool interior, some of us go there to buy our food. Step away from the produce, and let us shop. I mean, haven’t you seen arugula before? Ditto, fresh fish and other day to day delicacies that constitute our dinner. Feel free to act like a tourist in Times Square, Macy’s, and South Street Seaport. But when you are on our turf, try to act like a local, or at least be considerate of us.

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It’s proper to let  people off the train before boarding. If the train is crowded, please take your backpacks off and move your gigantic pieces of luggage out of our way so we can get on and off. Try not to block the doors so we don’t miss our stop climbing over your stuff, or worse yet, break a toe trying to navigate our way around it.

Walking is a frequently used mode of transportation for us locals. Think of walking, the way you would driving. Imagine the chaos if you and your friends all drove very, very slowly in a pack during rush hour, making it difficult to get around you. And what if you all just stopped suddenly to look at the sunset with out any warning to those behind you? Are you starting to get the picture?

And about getting the picture: Selfies, seriously? Here in the middle of the street? Now?

I think you get my drift. Enjoy your visit to the Big Apple!

 

*This has been a public service announcement from indigo jones. Thank you.

photos: Glasshouse Images

Spiralize Me!

July 14, 2014

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I am not a big fan of random kitchen gadgets, especially the plastic miracle machines that are the fodder of late night infomercials.  Yet, this little guy has me smitten!

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It’s called a spiralizer,and with a quick turn of a handle, it converts vegetables into long, noodle-like strands that give pasta a run for it’s money.

Tonight, we enjoyed zucchini noodles, quick sautéed and bathed in a sauce of garlic, basil, oil and fresh tomatoes, sprinkled with a little freshly ground Parmesan cheese. For a fraction of the calories, and far more nutritional value than it’s flour based counterpart, this was a fast and delicious meal that was whipped up in no time flat.

Try it! You’ll love it!

 

 

 

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Reheating Bread

May 20, 2014

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Did you ever heat bread or baked goods in the microwave, only to find them nearly fossilized a minute later? The microwave seems to zap the moisture from foods, often leaving them dry and hard.

Have no fear, a solution is here!
Simply place a small dish of water in the microwave, next to the bread or pastry before heating. The water adds moisture to the air inside the oven, and serves to lightly steam, rather than dehydrate the food. The result is softer, fresher tasting baked goods every time.

This concept works in a regular oven as well. My grandmother used to place bread or bagels in a brown paper bag, and sprinkle it liberally with water before placing it in the oven. When the bag was dry, the bread was heated through, soft and delicious. We have even rubbed a little water on a baguette for the same result.

Next time you have bread that is starting to get a bit stale, try one of these methods to bring it back to life!

photo: Glasshouse Images

A New Crop

May 14, 2014

Midriff baring tops made their way to the red carpet last week, as young Hollywood dared to bare it at the annual Met Ball.

Rihanna ruled the night in a white two piece by Stella McCartney:

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Anne Hathaway was a chic lady in red in Calvin Klein:

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Gabrielle Union was on the fringe in her Prada skirt and top:

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Anna Kendrick showed some skin in J. Mendel:

488321789.nocrop.w1800.h1330Emma Stone glows in brightly hued Thakoon:

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals

 

iPhone Dependence

April 30, 2014

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For the last few months, I have been traveling non-stop for work. I run a business off of my iPhone. For me, that little rectangular screen is my link to the world. I have multiple email accounts, a phone, my calendar, an address book of contacts, a clock, the weather and even access to my gym and more, all in this handheld device.
On Saturday, I tossed it in my bag, tucked the bag under my arm and 15 minutes later, when I reached for my phone (to get loyalty points at the fish market, no less), it was gone. I turned the house upside down, although I knew I had just unplugged it from the charger before I left. Clearly, I was pick pocketed. I called it, and tried the “find my phone” app, but it was turned off.Game over.

Being just weeks away from upgrade eligibility, and not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars extra for the same item, I called AT&T for help. While they graciously agreed to let me purchase the phone for $199, vs. the $649 charged at the store if you are not in the upgrade window, I had to agree to wait for them to ship the phone to me. I embarked on a business trip, sans phone and proceeded to function as best I could, without the benefit of technology.

Without the easy access to check the weather, I left the house dressed for the temperatures in New York. While the sun was shining and it was projected to be sunny and in the low 60′s there, in Boston, it is damp, grey and freaking cold! My train was delayed and I could not call the car service to let them know I would be late.

When I arrived, I quickly logged in and out of multiple email accounts. I recreated my calendar on paper to account for the next few days of meetings. I emailed people to let them know I would not be easily accessible for the next few days. I even asked one of my contacts  to email me the day before our appointment as a reminder, since I didn’t have a calendar to put them in.

I hope I wake up in the morning, without my alarm to help me along. I am not sure I will be able to workout, without music to facilitate my run on the treadmill, or my circuit training app to spur me on. Forget my food and exercise diary, or twitter for that matter. I even had to contact a client to get the log in information for their social media accounts which I manage.

Don’t expect a call, as I have no record of your number, my passwords for almost anything, or a reminder to take care of things. In fact, if you need me, just write a letter and mail it to me. I am out of commission.

On the other hand, there is something nice about just living in the present, away from the constant need to check email, keep up with the Joneses on Facebook, or photograph dinner.

It is amazing how I spent a good part of my adult life without the benefit of portable technology. I finally got a cell phone when I had a child and wanted to be reachable at a moment’s notice. Shortly thereafter, my company purchased Blackberries, and the madness began. While many people were not yet using them, there was a constant stigma to “put away the Crackberry,” as we often called the addictive little device. Then came the iPhone, which disrupted the entire population by providing easy access at the touch of a screen.

Men and women, young and old, are now tethered to their devices, on the street, in the car and out in public. It is not unusual to be in a meeting, or even a restaurant, with everyone sitting around the table, punching frantically away on their smart phones. Even the bathroom is no longer a sacred place.

At what point is technology a good thing, and when do we realize as a society, that we have gone too far?  So far, I am 3 days into my smart phone cleanse, and I am happy to report that I am functioning, albeit slightly inconvenienced. With my laptop at the ready, I have to admit that it isn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be.

I often reach for it instinctively, and realize it’s gone. Then I step back and find a way to accomplish what I need to do the “old school” way, and for now, it’s working out just fine.

How dependent on your smart phone are you?

Unsubscribe

March 31, 2014

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This week, outraged magazine readers fought back and opted to unsubscribe from their favorite monthlies over a disagreement with the editor in chief’s choices.

First it was Vogue. People love to hate Kim Kardashian, and when Anna Wintour put her and fiancé Kanye West on the cover of this month’s issue, the backlash was strong and swift. Many readers began campaigns to cancel their subscriptions, citing that Ms. Kardashian had no right to earn the highly coveted spot. She is not a model, reached fame through a homemade porn video,and has displayed questionable fashion sense in the past. She is not only one of the most “disliked” people in the business, she is also one of the most talked about.
It is always mind boggling to me, that every time a website posts a story about Kim Kardashian, a plethora of people take the time to log in, and post a derogatory comment. First of all, websites measure click throughs and comments to gauge the popularity of a post. Each of those people clicked through, presumably read the article, and then logged in, often to tell the site that they don’t care about her and that they should stop featuring her. Those click throughs and comments all add up, and send the editor and cyber bean counters a very different message.

While we are here, let me ask you another question? When was the last time a model graced the cover of your favorite fashion bible?
Uh-huh. Not recently. Celebrities, i.e. actresses and musicians sell more magazines at the newsstand than models. Models all want to be actresses anyways (and then they get their cover stories!) actresses all want to be fashion designers, and who knows what designers want to be anymore. Kim Kardashian and Vogue just experienced a huge PR boon, thanks to all the articles, interviews and Facebook posts that came about from people expressing dismay over her cover story.

A few days later, Self magazine came under fire. They featured a photo of 2 women running a marathon in tutus, and ridiculed the look. When readers discovered that one of those women was a cancer victim and made the tutus to raise money to fight the disease, they were outraged. Self’s editor in chief, Lucy Danziger issued a quick apology, which riled up her readership even more. She subsequently spoke to the women personally, and wrote a very positive article about her. Tutu sales jumped to the point that they cannot accept anymore orders. Readers responded with threats to cancel their subscriptions.

Had this women not been a cancer patient, and her choice of running attire not been philanthropic, would the outcry have been so strong? This is a magazine about women embracing their bodies and pursuing good health through diet and fitness. Is making fun of women running in tutus keeping true to the message the magazine hopes to convey? Anyone who trains for and completes a marathon is a role model. If doing so in a tutu provides motivation, we say “go for it!” Ms. Danziger not only apologized for the faux pas, but offered to work closely with the women to support her cause. She also brought great awareness to tutu project, which in turn brought them more orders. We all make mistakes, and this was a big one. It was also resolved to the best of the magazine’s ability. Isn’t that enough?

We are living in a world where we are so spoiled, that if a magazine features something that doesn’t suit us, we retaliate. How different is this to packing up our dolls and dishes and going home when we were 5 years old and our friend didn’t want to play the way we did?

We have a right to our opinions and a thanks to the internet, a forum to express them whether anyone wants to hear them or not.

Only time will tell if the magazines in question had any significant decline to subscriptions, or if the additional press served to sell more ad pages.

Now that that is cleared up, feel free to go back to postulateing  about Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling,” until someone else does something you can complian about.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Sneezing On The Truth

March 20, 2014

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It’s here. A runny nose, sneezing, and a dry throat. It’s clearly a cold, and it’s not fun. As I sit, blowing my nose and sneezing in duplicate, I am wondering what really happens when you sneeze. I mean, it’s a really weird feeling, and the anticipation of an oncoming sneeze is even more annoying than the sneeze itself. Some say a sneeze is the closest thing to death, and that the heart actually stops beating. Others claim a sneeze travels at the speed of 100 miles per hour. Inquiring minds want to know, so I set out to seek the truth about sneezes.

Apparently the Myth Busters were intrigued by this concept too. They clocked their sneezes using an ultra high speed camera, and found that they traveled close to 35 mph, a far cry from the 100 mph. we hear about. As for the distance that the snot traveled, neither one of them flung the phlegm farther (say that fast 5 times!) than 17 feet.

Regardless of how fast and furious our body fluids travel during a sneeze, it’s important to cover your mouth, ideally with your arm. If you use your hand to cover your mouth, please wash it immediately, because that’s how the germs get spread. (Duh.)

Scientists attribute the sneeze as the nose’s way of “rebooting. ” The pressure caused by the sneeze resets the environment in the nasal passages, allowing the bad particles we breathe in,to be trapped.

The heart does not stop during a sneeze, but it does slow down. While this could cause you to miss a beat, it is generally unnoticeable.

A sneeze starts in your nerves, which explains why you never sneeze in your sleep. Those sneeze triggering nerves go to sleep too. And just like the involuntary kick induced by tapping on the knee with a tiny mallet, our eyes close when we sneeze.

It’s common to sneeze in multiples. It often takes a few tries to get those bad particles out, making us ah-choo in twos.

Sneezes are a nuisance, but they have their place. Trying to stop them is unhealthy, and can lead to ruptured blood vessels and ear drums. If you wish to quiet a sneeze, try pressing on the area just above the upper lip, taking a deep breath, or rubbing your nose.

By the way, Gesundheit, a German phrase often uttered after someone sneezes means “good health.”

photo: Glasshouse Images

Hot Tips Tuesday: Winter Feet

March 4, 2014

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News flash: Spring is coming! It may take awhile, and we may sustain more polar vortex incidents along the way, but it will, in fact come. Don’t be caught by surprise when sandal season arrives and your feet are simply not ready.

The cold temperatures and dry air wreck havoc on our skin, and although they remain covered, it takes a toll on our feet. Running doesn’t help, causing blisters and callouses on top of dry, cracked soles.
Alas, there is an inexpensive and easy way to solve the problem.
Slather Vaseline or Aquaphor in a thick layer on the soles of your feet, massage a little into the tops and toes, and put on a pair of heavy socks. Depending on your preference, either go to the gym and work out, or go to sleep. The petroleum jelly will soften all the callouses, prevent chafing ( if you run: no worries about that if you just sleep!) and leave your feet baby soft after just a couple of treatments. A simple soak in the bathtub and a pumice stone will slough off the old skin and leave you with soft, presentable soles.
You’re welcome.

photo: Glasshouse Images

You Are All Invited!

February 23, 2014

I am hosting a fundraiser for Cycle for Survival this Wednesday night and you are all invited! We have an amazing line up of musicians, comediennes, complimentary snacks, cocktails and a few special raffle prizes! (perhaps a designer handbag or two?) It’s at Bongo, a great mid-century modern lounge in the West Village that you all should know about. They have an amazing view of the Hudson River, and the best lobster rolls in town!

We have added more artists since the invite was created, so look out for Polly A., (formerly performing as Meleni Smith), and the musical comedienne, Ben Lerman. You can check them both out on Spotify. They will be joined by the incredible Iman Europe and her beautiful, soulful vocals, and Cecilia Gault, whose talent far exceeds her years. We are thrilled to have Eric Schwortz of Nature Cruise doing a solo set, as well as local faves Laura DeLucia and Aaron Giata, guitarist Peter Knoll,  and Mike Hubbard. And if your stomach hurts from laughing at Maribeth Mooney, don’t say you weren’t warned. Stay tuned, because you never know what else is up our sleeves!

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We are also grateful to Glasshouse Images for their support of this special event.

If you are in New York, please come by and enjoy the festivities, while contributing to a very worthy cause.

If you can’t join us, but would like to donate to Cycle for Survival, to help the amazing folks at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital fight rare cancers, please click here. All proceeds from the event will go directly into research, and no gift is too big or too small.

I hope to see you on Wednesday night. Be sure to come by and introduce yourself, AND SPREAD THE WORD!!

You can have a great time, while fighting cancer…sounds like a win/ win situation to me!

The Elephant in the Room

February 13, 2014

Tonight, I experienced something so intriguing, I had to share it.

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While riding home on a crowded subway, I observed an empty seat across from me with a $5 bill on it. Some people looked at the money, and quickly looked away. Others pretended not to notice it at all. Although many people were standing, the seat with the money on it remained empty. After a few minutes, I started to look around, amazed that nobody had said anything, or pocketed it on their way out. Was this being filmed with a hidden camera for one of those “What would you do?” television shows? Were people so afraid of being negatively judged that they didn’t want to have anyone see them take the money? Were we all secretly hoping that a homeless person would come along and we could self-rightously hand it to them, and experience a feel good moment?

At one point a man boarded the train, saw the empty seat and the $5 bill, and perched uncomfortably on the edge of the bench, so as not to touch or acknowledge the money’s presence.  He seemed relieved as he exited the train, $5 bill still intact on the seat. Again, people boarded the train and discreetly ignored the money, leaving it, and it’s coveted rush hour seat alone.

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Like the proverbial elephant in the room, the money was the obvious issue that nobody wanted to be the one to acknowledge. In an anonymous city where people rush from place to place, and  a $5 bill is as important to some as a dirty penny laying in a gutter, and to others, their only chance for some food, it’s existence played a big role in this evening’s turn of events.
What do you think was going on? Did someone discreetly pocket it, when the crowd thinned out, or is it still riding comfortably on a seat in the #1 Broadway local? What would you have done?
Let us know in the comments below.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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