Escape to New York

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Room service breakfast, The Mark Hotel, NYC.

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Oh, OKAAY, here’s the entire picture…

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So, I sneaked away for a quick trip to NY this week.

Didn’t even bring a camera, just my iPhone and walking shoes.

It was, after all, Serious Sale Season.

I kept my packing to bare minimum carry-on by fed-exing my coats and boots to the hotel beforehand. So much easier then schlepping heavy bags and worrying about them getting lost or stolen, which has happened to us on more than one occasion. I brought a pre-printed return slip for homeward shipping. Done & done.

We took in a play the first night, which I didn’t entirely love so I’m not going to mention the name. I think people in the theatre work way too hard to have amateur critics critique them, don’t you?

IMG_2694We had a couple of splendid dining experiences, including one night at “Eleven Madison Park”, mentioned in a previous post and listed in my slow-to-update “Travel” tab

IMG_2687Palate cleansers of heavily marinated diced apples, Apple Jack bourbon, and some molecular  hijinks being prepared in the kitchen at “Eleven Madison Park”

IMG_2666and then there was the wild mushroom and poached egg pizza at “ABC Kitchen

This was my second visit to this really fun & buzzy Jeans George affiliated restaurant and I would highly recommend it.

1f3e2004604411e2913d22000a9e2892_7I also enjoyed cocktails one night with Habitually Chic“‘s Heather Clawson at “Bar Pleiades” in the Surrey Hotel. The rich, delicious concoction sporting a dense head of foamy condensed coconut milk above was called a”Thai-somethingorother”. The perfect libation to evoke the warmth of the tropics on a frigid NY night. We were sitting beside Goop Senior, Blythe Danner, who looked quite fabulous, although I’m sure Gwyneth will be letting herself go all to hell any day now. I can just feel it.

890A5219If you haven’t already checked out Heather’s new book “Creativity at Work” you really should. A thoughtful compilation of creative souls in their work environments, with beautiful photos and very down-to-earth introductions by Heather, as well as inspiring interviews with each subject. A perfect gift or addition to your own library; here my copy (bought the day before Hurricane Sandy hit on my last trip to NY) sits on the living room table this Christmas.

ea28de90618d11e2a2e222000a9e48a3_7As always, walking and window gazing through the streets of Manhattan never disappoints.

I scoped these massive antique crystal urns lit from within on Madison Ave. I’d love to know their origin. Even better, I’d love to see them used now in an entirely modern space. Martyn Bullard would probably know just how to do them justice.

IMG_2633I dreamt and drooled through the recently opened  Christian Liaigre flagship store on the upper east side.

Just give me one of everything, thank you.

IMG_2679and snapped this cute window at Jo Malone, really as a reference for a friend who is opening a tea salon in India! Swoon.

IMG_2646With my good friend Patty, whose hand I’m employing here for scale, I found a wine glass in Bergdorf Goodman that had my name written all over it. (back off Andrew!)

We had lunch in Bergdorf’s Kelly Wearstler designed restaurant which is usually delicious and ripe for people watching.

Somehow I always end up standing in front of the lady’s room mirror, ever so slightly lifting the sides of my face up.

IMG_2705I stayed at The Mark Hotel where, as long time readers are aware, my love of black & white stripes has been applied with reckless abandon.

The best part of The Mark experience? The Jeans Georges restaurant room service!

Rushing into the lobby one day, I humiliatingly tossed a warm hello to a lady I was so sure I knew (who then asked my name and we both drew a blank :() only to realise 1/2 way up the elevator she was a NYC realtor from a reality show my husband watches. Upon returning from dinner the same night,  Sonja fill-in-the-name, from “Housewives of NY” was standing at the entrance and let’s just say Sonja had been enjoying more than a few cocktails. Ouch. But then I guess you don’t end up on reality TV by being a wallflower.

faf06bac60e911e28ce622000a9f13a7_7The Mark hotel (photos from my Instagram)

64c9aed65f5e11e28e3c22000a1f9d44_7So, a little food & drink, a spot of shopping & people watching, a drop of culture and the company of loved ones- a perfect week in NY.

and least we forget (azziff) ‘Downton Abbey’ tomorrow!

890A5785My butler’s bells are vibrating in anticipation

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Wishing a Splendid Whheeekend to All!

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Spuhriinng!

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It is, without a shadow of a doubt, Spuhrrinng in Santa Barbara!

After the rains, we’re  blessed with longer days, buds bursting forth into delicate tissue paper blossoms, birdsong and the frog’s chorus float through the open windows all day long.

Yay!!

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Our resident songstress

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I even found these orchids, long discarded from an indoor pot, earnestly re-blooming way back in the cheap seats of the garden.

Meanwhile…I wonder if I’ll ever get everything I need to do, done.

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Probably not.

Dior ring

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china plates from Bodo Sperlein. Bespoke hand painted canvas by Annie Millar. via British House & Garden.

Detail from a cherry blossom sconce light at Anthropology

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But I’m not going to sacrifice ‘Stop, Look & Listen’ (OK, I know that’s for crossing the road, but it works for the garden too) when there’s so much to take in.

Jo Malone Cherry Blossom cologne

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It’s like Grand Central around here

and look what I found outside a bedroom window on Easter Sunday

Let’s face it, everyone’s really busy right now…

…Here’s to new beginnings!

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Green & Black Saturday

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Slim Paley flowers &  photo

 

Did you participate in Black Friday?! The whole concept of the crowds and parking madness makes me shudder.  I saw that some stores opened at 4 a.m. !  I saw commercials of women exercising…getting prepped for the event- might have been for “Target”, I’m not sure.  Not that I don’t love a good Target run as much as the next savvy shopper.  It comes second only to Costco in providing me with the most things I never realized I needed until the moment I see them.  I think there might be a “tense” problem in that last sentence, but I’m so tired and I’m dashing to get this posted before Sunday or I’ll have to change the entire premise.   In any case, this Thanksgiving weekend marks yet another year  I didn’t get all (any) of my Christmas shopping done before December 1st as I promised myself I would.  For those of you that have finished already- I am GREEN with envy!   I might have to go pour myself some Absynthe just to drown my sorrows…

 

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Kees Van Dongen

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Isabella Blow

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Giorgio Armani Fall 2010

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Dita Von Teese for Perrier

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Giorgio Armani

 

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Jo Malone for Farrow & Ball

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Adorable “lace” baskets for bikes available at Fjorn

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Cecconis

 

Diamond & black onyx bead tribal Deco earrings by Shaunleane.com

GORGEOUS!

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Bottega Veneta clutch

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Steven Webster

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Jacquelyn Jablonski

I’m inspired to pull out my green leather gloves now

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Dolce & Gabbana

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Steven Webster

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Dior

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Edon Manor NYC

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Bottega Veneta

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I’m loving this collection of scarab accessories and jewelry from Bottega Veneta

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Tom Dixon

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Image via Tarina Tarantino

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Bottega Veneta

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Absinthe or “The Green Fairy” here

No longer illegal

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Chanel

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Kees Van Dongen

Too much Absinthe

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New.Syrie Maugham book by Acanthus Press

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The Rug Company

Emerald from Asprey

 

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And lastly, I ask you- Where else but on Slim Paley would you get Asprey emeralds and the trailer to the remake of the Green Hornet??!

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What can I say? I have boys.

 

 

Golden Pears and Prayers

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As we rapidly approach mid September,  I’ll finally concede it is indeed time to acknowledge the changing of the seasons.  Summer in Santa Barbara? We hardly knew you.   There are many things about the Fall that I love, don’t get me wrong…although the turning of the trees,  smell of burning leaves, and  distinct ‘crispness’ that creeps in before the real cold arrives are pleasures we don’t truly experience here.   Still, Autumn in Southern California is not without it’s charms.  Our Liquid Amber trees put on a quite a  show, the sunsets never fail to delight and we do grow great pumpkins!   When our children were younger we had the most amazing Halloween parties at our home, even if I do say so myself :)  I miss them so!  BOO hoo!!

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So once again we face the task of putting our summer wardrobes and linens to rest- adieu beautiful turquoise and aqua… it’s time to start thinking in shades of burnt umber and gold…

Some music to travel by; “Golden Age” by TV on the Radio




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Jo Malone‘s newest fragrance ‘ English Pear & Freesia

The End of Summer freesia and The First pears of Autumn meet in a delicate and graceful marriage of the two seasons.

Key notes are King William Pear, White Freesia and Patchouli.

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This is the cutest website!

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Amazingly talented artists from all over the world, who also cook!   What a great idea! Please check it out here;

They Draw & They Cook

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I love this colour for Fall, so warm and comforting.

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Then again, not too shabby in a tropical setting either

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Painting by Kendall Boggs

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Have you tried this pear flavoured Hangar One vodka yet? It will put some Autumnal heat in your tummy!

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Recipes from Hangar One Vodka Recipes.WhatwasIsaying???

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and to atone for your sinful martinis…this is a sweet little book

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“My” wonderful, wonderful monk in Bhutan

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Phew…OK, back to sinning….


 

Cesare Paciotti boots

 

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Anya Hindmarch bag

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Maurizio Pecoraro

 

My two ‘Vintage” mustard yellow jackets that my mother says don’t look good on me will be coming back out. You heard me Mom.

I just need more blush.

and lipstick.

and maybe a scarf between me and the mustard…

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Gucci


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Martha Stewart

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Vintage Colman’s Mustard poster

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Golden Mustard roses in my garden

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Lost the credit (thank God)


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Fendi Fall 2010

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Fendi

I love this; the boots, the bag, the model, the makeup, the hair…luv luv.

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Love these too…

 

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And as much as Colman’s Mustard makes me positively gag, I’m loving all these little mustard booties :)


 

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‘Peek-A-Boo’, I love you !

Last few photos all from Fendi Fall 2010-11

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Miu Miu

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Ligne Roset sofachairthingy

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Oh- PIKACHU!! I miss you!!

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Oh- I almost forgot- I have positively GOLDEN information to share with you!  My new camera? I got the Leica V-Lux 20 for my birthday…only to be informed by my sister (the Ralph Nader of the family) that I was basically paying a few hundred dollars extra for the little red “Leica” dot. She said the camera was virtually identical to the Panasonic ‘Lumix’.   The old “Toyota in Lexus clothing” switcheroo.  So I bought the Lumix and lo and behold….  (Is that “What a Good Wife Am I” music I hear??!)

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Have a Golden Week Everyone!!

Friday Favourites (6)

 

Slim Paley Photo………………..Ranunculas in the pantry sink

Happy Friday Favourites everyone!  It’s a gorgeous day here in Santa Barbara.  We are busy sprucing up the garden, getting some Spring-time painting done (a wood shingled house is a needy mistress) and hard to reach windows are being washed. What a great feeling! It’s not going to rain again until Fall now, right?

We took some friends from NY out for dinner last night to one of our favourite local restaurants and hello there Murphy’s Law- it wasn’t good.  First time we’ve ever not had a great dining experience there.  Isn’t that so frustrating and embarrassing when you have talked about how great a place is?  OK, I have vented, now I have to walk away from it…it’s over.

Walk away…  Right now.  Finished.  On to Friday Favourites;

.No, I’m not obsessed with Jo Malone, but I can’t help  admire how the company continues to deliver beautiful products in fresh and fun ways. Brand new for Spring is their collaboration with British paint and wallpaper company Farrow & Ball (another favourite of mine) resulting in a limited edition of five of J.M.’s most popular scents presented in five of Farrow & Ball’s most popular colours.  So pretty and a perfectly lovely  Mother’s Day gift idea.   (And don’t we love new gift ideas?!)  Available mid-April thru mid-June.

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We returned home to watch our recording of “Housewives of NY” just to add insult to injury (not that I’m still whinging about dinner, because I’ve so let that go now) but I think the show might have actually ‘jumped the shark’ for me  with the addition of the new cast member.  How fake and boooorrrring is she? I’m hardly looking for Anna Karenina-depth character development on Bravo, but couldn’t they have found someone even vaguely tethered to reality?  I don’t know…perhaps this was just what I needed to nudge me off of these ridiculous shows and back to a good book just before bed.

Although, ya gotta admit Ramona coming down the runway with that walk and those EYES last night was PRICELESS!!!

(omg. I’m going to hell for this- which is really terrible because all The Housewives are going to be down there)

Not only that, but one of my good friends told me the Aveeno Cleansing Pads I recommended last week have Parabens in them.   Which I think means we have to clean the cleanser off really quickly or we will get Paraben stuff on us.  I am at present testing out the paraben-free cleanser she has urged me to try and I will report back after a week or so. In the meantime, if you are using the Aveeno pads, just wash fast.

 

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Those of you lucky enough to be in NY at the moment will not only be able to partake of the Takashimaya closing sale, but will also be there for the first week of the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at MOMA – one of my favourite photographers (May 11- June 28th)

Cartier-Bresson used a little Leica-  Just like me!  :)

Anyone else inspired to start shooting in Black & White??

And while we are on the subject of persons of the French persuasion…

If you love the french language as much as I do (but speak it as poorly)  I’d like to share this favourite with you;

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photo from French Word a Day

French Word A Day

A sweet little thrice weekly visit to France. It’s really charming!

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And if you are just crazy lucky and happen to be in London tomorrow…


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The Grace Kelly Exhibition starts atThe Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert always puts on such fantastic exhibitions so I’m sure this is probably going to be FAHbulous!

And lastly,  courtesy of a couple of Slim Paley readers…

.Apparently, I have a new Fan!!

One of my most Favourite things of all??  Friends with a great sense of humour :)  Thank you for this!

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Oh you know what…I just can’t end on that photo!



GRACE KELLY (Mika)


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