Posts tagged new york

New York, New York!

I am sooo happy to be here. loft sitting for my friends. I dragged the R1 up here for this trip and it has been so very much fun riding the streets of NYC again. Except for the pothole which may have dented my rim, it’s been awesome. I’m doing a little bit of work, a lot of riding and mysteriously no shopping. Not for lack of trying though. I’ve checked out a few stores, found nothing I wanted and left. amazing. i may just have to buy those YSL boots after all, just to compensate. Either that, or the trick worked. On the first day here I dropped by the sales office of the building I want to live in. It’s barely begun construction, but will be amazing once it’s done. Keeping my eyes on the prize does seem to have an impact.

my next home?:

Summer Job, and a weekend in NYC

So it looks like I won’t have to roam the wilds of Sub-Saharan Africa all summer on my vibrating wedgie, I mean, my Husqvarna. I’ve taken a job as a sustainability consultant at a local enterprise. This will save me a ton of money, in moving expenses and rent and possibly help me win the big jackpot of in-state tuition. It means I can’t dally in South Africa like I wanted to, but we’ll wrap up 3 weeks before school starts, so that’s August somewhere fun and exotic.

I went to NYC this weekend and tortured myself by not bringing any flat shoes. I’m pissed that my feet have gone all soft and lost the callouses I spent years forming. the balls of my feet hurt so much I had to stop and get a foot massage in Chinatown. In my search for a pair of comfortable shoes that I’d be caught dead in on the streets of NYC, I got dragged into the shop of a designer I don’t like, and wound up leaving with a very sassy pair of patent leather headmistress-with-a-whip schoolmarm shoes. They’re so vicious. And were actually more comfortable than my everyday Patsy Cline booties, at least for the first mile. Then they conspired to cripple me. I started to think back to all the sprained ankles I had my first year in college, walking all over London in goth girl stillettos after driving everywhere in high school. I think it may have had something to with trying to find ways to tolerate the pressure on the balls of my feet and thus contorting my ankles into walking in ways they’d never intended.

Best Susanna moment of the weekend (admittedly, this was before coffee or breakfast): There I was on the corner of Elizabeth and Spring, looking up at the billboard on a building I’ve long been intrigued by. Hmmm, $6,7abunchafreakin’zeros.. Wow, that’s actually in my post-MBA salary range of affordability. wow. here in Nolita? and they’re only dividing up that giant building into 3 units? wait a minute, something’s not right here. A building in Nolita. 3 giant condos. in my price range? Oh wait. That’s $6.7million, not $670,000. Jeesh, what’s one zero? I’m sure the developer would be more than happy to drop a lil’ ol zero for me!

But the real story is: I got to see the most awesomest version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ever!!! Forget about Terence Howard, it’s all about Anika Noni Rose who kicked ass as Maggie, the star of the show. James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad were excellent too.

A New York Night…

Now I never want to go back to NC. Tonight Lisa and I went to see Q-Tip, which was awesome. Right after Tuesday bike night at the Ear, where Athena let me ride her brandy-new MV Agusta Brutale. So sexy. So fun. I can’t wait till I get MY MV-A! But I must. It’s to be my graduation present. So anyway, after Q-Tip, I changed into my new pink shoes and the matching dress I just happened to bring along, and we met up with Mami at the Box. The Box is this tiny, adorable burlesque club. We got in on someone’s $1,000 table, partied with royalty, met some adorable b-ball player who was like 7’2, helped Lisa work up the nerve to go wish John Maier a happy birthday, and watched Calvin Klein watching the show across the balcony.

But now, it’s time to sleep. It’s so easy to get sucked into the glamorous life and forget about everything else. But I want more, I want to make the world a better place for more than a few people, and well, that won’t happen by runnig around shopping and partying all the time. Lisa has this cool astrology book and it was uncannily accurate. more about that later. sleep.

vacation time…

Some people relax and unwind by laying on a beach. Not me. It only took a few days of slicing through the crowded sidewalks of NYC, walking until I can barely stand, soaking up all that I can of the greatest city on earth, and I feel so relaxed and happy now. The shoes may have helped a little, but I’m past the point where a good she purchase is a lasting source of happiness. I know exercise is the thing I most lack in my suburban lifestyle in NC, so all this walking has really done me good. Man, it gets harder to go back to the country after each visit. BUt I know a big reason it’s so fun is that I am a tourist. It’s so much easier to visit here than live here. But then perhaps when I return, it’ll be like the prodigal son, who wandered away, and is so happy to be back in the fold, that all the greivances (walking a few blocks to a shared garage, no pool, etc) will pale in comparison to the luxuries I miss so much (walking everywhere, fabulous people, fabulous architecture, awesome food at all hours of the night, delivery of ANYTHING, anytime, freshdirect, etc…)

Since I can’t keep posting about caclulus…

Well ok, maybe I can. I came up with a good analogy, because I’m with Erin in NYC this weekend and I do all my best thinking when I’m with Erin.

“Trying to make me learn Calculus is like trying to make a cat swim.”

So that’s the last I’ll say about it. Today was a banner day. I love NY. It’s so great to be back! I got to drive all fast and aggressive, cut people off, yell, curse, and generally cut loose! Kinda glad I brought the car after all.

Turns out I showed up in time to hit the Barney’s warehouse sale. Also turns out they had the dress I almost bought at full price at Barney’s in Bev Hills. But it wasn’t available in my size and I am now mature and sensible enough to not buy a $3800 dress that’s 2 sizes too small, no matter how cool it is. So I let it go. But it came back! And, I kid you not, 90% off. Yes, I paid $380 for a dress that’s 2 sizes too small, but it’s soooooo cool. I will find a way to make it work.

And I also got a gorgeous black suit that was much cheaper and a nice girl tee to put under my sheer blouses for those corporate gigs. So it was awesome. The sticker shock came when we got to the garage and it was $40 for like 3 hours!!!! Insane. I’ve been in LA too long, so I almost had a heart attack, but Erin insisted that parking in Chelsea hasn’t been $20 in centuries. Plus I had the bike on the back so they charged oversize vehicle rate even though the place was empty. As we pulled out, there was a brand new Bentley looking for street parking, and Erin said that was gonna be me someday. Sure, I’ll blow my wad on something I can take with me, but something as transient and impermanent as a parking space? hell no.

Then we went to Jersey and I dropped my 250 off with Armen so he can bring it back to life, then went to IKEA so Erin could finally get a sofa. Almost got sketched out in IKEA, but managed to maintain. Took Erin home, got a miracle parking space, then took a car service to PS1 for the last dance of the summer. It was awesome, I saw some great art, heard some seriously evocative music, and ran into an old friend and we got to catch up over delicious thai food.

Then went to the EV to find Janet and hang out, ran into her and Liz on the way to where she said she’d be, and we walked to Chelsea, which was fun, but really painful as my feet are not accustomed to walking so much so I can’t do it in the shoes I used to be able to do it in. So sad. And now it’s time for bed. More tomorrow, after it happens. I still have some homework to do sometime this weekend…

on aging…

don’t let me forget to mention my birthday party at ACME last night. It was wonderful! Loud, raucous, but just great! It was so nice to be surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world, who happen to live here in NYC. But I’m in kind of a sugar hangover after the late Carribean lunch we had in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and the down-home cookin’ and dessert at ACME. And now I’ve got to run off for a pedicure with my homegirl Lisa…

Photos by my great friend Liz:

End of a few Eras…

So I’m in NYC for a few days, because well, I felt like having my birthday here. Yesterday Erin, who I’m staying with in Upstate Manhattan (aka Washington Heights), had the brilliant idea to go roller skating at Empire rink in Brooklyn before they close next month. It’s seriously the LAST roller rink around. Even CitySearch doesn’t show ANY other roller rinks. It was heartbreaking because there were so many neighborhood kids and now they’ll have one less option for fun, safe things to do in tha ‘hood. There were a bunch of people outside when we arrived, protesting the closure. I really hope someone steps up and replaces it with a new rink. Is there a Magic Johnson of Brooklyn? Everyone there was so happy, it was awesome.

The Devil Wears Prada/ Flashback…

Just saw it. Walked out with the most overwhelmingly visceral reaction I’ve had to a film since I don’t know when. It was “What the FUCK are these SNEAKERS doing on my FEET and where are my STILLETOS?????? I couldn’t get home fast enough to be with my Shoes. hahahahaha. As much as I enjoy living in LA, I certainly do miss being able to DRESS UP for life. Worst thing about people in LA, other than their unbearable flakiness, is how they always think anything other than jeans is “dressed up.” As a Seventh Avenue escapee, I can attest to the veracity of that film. It is, after all, based on a book, which is a tell-all thinly veiled as fiction to protect the author.

While I was fortunate enough to not work directly with Ms. Wintour, the closest I ever got to her was sewing a button onto her coat, which had been sent down to the sample room without her in it, to be repaired. This was when I worked for Isaac Mizrahi, back in the mid 90’s, and his career was completely dependent upon her. Since he didn’t actually sell much clothing, he relied on good press for his sustenance, even though that doesn’t actually pay the bills. She’d come to the studio a week before the show, and the head patternmaker would go upstairs and take notes of all the changes she requested. We’d work even more overtime than usual to ensure that Anna’s visions were brought to life flawlessly. It always bugged me, since she wasn’t actually the designer. I couldn’t figure out why Isaac would give her so much power. But now I know, he would never have existed on the fashion map without her. Or even be selling us charming items at Target, for that matter.

Off to bed to fall asleep remembering all the most glamorous moments of the shows that made all that (unpaid, of course) overtime seem worthwhile. The shows and the after parties were always so much fun, even working backstage. Great food, all the free Evian you could drink, and plenty of booze for the drinkers. There’s something about having a camera crew film you hemming a pair of pants with a supermodel in them that makes any job seem fun and exciting. The much-needed and extremely sensuous backrub from some Rockerfeller (not Roc-A-Fella) guy, making eyes across the room with Lenny Kravitz’ cousin, sneaking into Paris shows and getting away with it. Except when I was kicked out of Christian Dior, for being too tall to blend in with the short (French) crowd. I’ll never forget the way he said “Christian Dior did NOT invite YOU!” as if I were just entirely too offensive to be there. In the same week, getting to crouch at the base of the Galliano runway in Paris and take some amazing shots as a “photo assistant” while a real photog threatened to call me out. My cheap camera was a dead giveaway, and space was tight. Moving to NYC and rushing to the Richard Tyler for Anne Klein show, so concerned with being late that the security guards didn’t even ask for my invitation. Which of course I didn’t have, leading me to suspect that all this time what really did the trick was an air of importance and a chic black outfit. Polly Mellen screaming out “I love the pants!!!” during a Mizrahi show, and beaming with pride. I was the pant specialist there. Betsey Johnson allowing me to take home one of the fake Rolexes used in the last show I did with her, right before I moved to LA. I told her I’d always think of it as my retirement watch. Here’s a shot from that show, of me with one of my creations. I didn’t just make the pattern, I also did a lot of the beading, as the sewers were too busy by that point and most patternwork was finished. That day at tavern on the Green was the end of innocence for a lot of us. The next day was 9/11/2001, which certainly ripped the blinders from my eyes.

More art in New York

Went to the Kara Walker exhibit at the Met and it was awesome. Made me cry. Made me think about how no matter how hard life in Africa may be, at least (in most countries) they don’t have to live with 400+ years of racism and didn’t suffer the horror that was American slavery. It’s interesting being back, in NYC I felt as if I’d never left, even though I hadn’t been there since last summer. Shopped till I dropped, walked all over town, ate fine food, forgot to go to 4040 club, but otherwise did all the things I’d dreamt of doing there while living the simple life in Tanzania. It felt kinda weird to walk down the street unmolested, no one even looking at me. I had to remind myself not to look into other’s eyes or smile at random strangers as we passed on the street. While New Yorkers aren’t half as rude as reputed, in fact they’re downright nice, most will still get real nervous around a smiling stranger.

Jet lag is kicking my ass. I wonder if I’ll ever feel energetic again. Yesterday I got a lot done, unpacked, did a million loads of laundry (Yaaay, machine-washed clothes!!!) and by the afternoon made it to Trader Joe’s. I had been fantasizing about TJ’s, I had a moment in Tanzania when I pictured myself standing in the entrance area, arms outstretched to give the entire store a big hug. By the time I got there, I was so tired it was all I could do to get what I needed and get home. It felt really good to ride again, though! I was worried that I might have been rusty, but it seemed to come back right away, even the level of attention necessary to survive LA traffic. Took a disco nap this afternoon, hopefully I’ll be able to disco down and shake my bootie.

Zaznibar pix are here…

Mostly museum pix, but some nice shots from the snorkeling trip, and lots of cute kiddies and kitties. It feels great to be back in NYC, except for the jet lag. Got to see the Whitney Biennial, which was awesome. Yes, there are always some artists that make you go “hmmm, who’d he/she blow to get into this gig?” but then there are some magnificent works as well, that make you go “hmmm, I wish I was super rich so I could buy this damn painting.” Someday…

Now it’s time for you to guess: was this photo taken at the Whitney, or at the museum in Zanzibar, which is not an art museum at all?

And here are pix from the Paris flea market, which I was so happy to be able to burn through in my >20 hours in Paris. In 3 hours, I ate a real crepe, bought some nifty yet grossly overpriced stuff, considered sleeping with the owner of this shop, (it was his idea, of course) in exchange for a stuffed crocodile, or really anything. It was the absolute cooolest place I’d ever seen. And to top it off, I found the leather jacket I’ve been looking for for months! It had to be adequately protective, as all my friends worry bout me riding in unarmored jackets, and it had to look cool and sexy. Oh, and be reasonably priced. Check all of the above! Pix of it in action when I return to my beloved, who has been patiently awaiting my return while bound securely to my garage floor.