Omg-It’s April Already!

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Did you think I’d run off with the Moroccan Circus?!

I do still have one or two Moroccan tidbits I’d love to share, but today’s post hails from NY where I had a lovely visit this week with Older Son,

enjoyed a little theatre (or perhaps I should  say big theatre)

and well, you know the rest…

photo 2there was some food involved…

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but first, the play

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Directed by two-time Tony winner George C. Wolfe and starring the boundlessly talented Tom Hanks, “Lucky Guy” is the hottest ticket on Broadway.

We were lucky enough to attend the opening night on Monday and it was truly electrifying.

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The last work of the brilliant Nora Ephron;

“LUCKY GUY marks a return to Ephron’s journalistic roots in a new play about the scandal- and graffiti-ridden New York of the 1980s, as told through the story of the charismatic and controversial tabloid columnist Mike McAlary, who won the Pulitzer Prize shortly before his untimely death on Christmas Day, 1998.” (via Luckyguy.com)

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 12.52.01 PMIt’s great fun to experience Tom Hank’s first time on the Broadway stage, in fact the entire cast is stellar

so if your plans include a trip to NY between now and June, I highly recommend it.

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And what’s a trip to NYC without a little window shopping?!

 IMG_3969My Instagram pic (following yet?) of the Celine shoes that are starting to grow on me

(no pun intended)

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 10.59.51 AMEspecially the “Birkenstock” version which FYI is already sold out in the black on black style.

I just asked.

L1150148Then there’s this casual little Walter Steiger heel for all you Crowns of Thorns, Thrones of Corns, Game of Thrones fans

(which I’ve yet to watch because I still haven’t started “Homeland” yet. You see the sacrifices I make for this blog?!)

I snapped the pic in Barney’s, slightly more civilized than the Bergdorf’s shoe department was on Friday

IMG_3985Where it’s every woman for herself (more crown-thorny shoes there too-not in my size :()

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And now’s the time for Vegetarians to shield their eyes

IMG_3892We enjoyed a hearty brunch at Il Buco Alementaria & Vineria

beginning with a most civilized selection of their house-cured meats.

photo 3menu board at il Buco

f2171f049a2711e2bee422000a9f14ea_7Then Son of Slim threw down with a short rib sandwich that quite frankly did his Momma proud.

Despite its girth, it absolutely melted in your mouth. Like buttah.

er, I mean his mouth.

I’m far too much of a Laaydy to be seen eating such a beast (at least in public-would that they have private booths)

This is definitely not a First Date Sandwich.

Il Buco is very buzzy and for the most part, dining is shared at communal tables.

8-14_085via Il Buco website

I will mention that the acoustics aren’t the greatest (upstairs seems slightly louder than down) We moved downstairs because I swear a woman at our table was talking to someone in another restaurant-and not on her phone. I felt like we were in a Woody Allen film, but let’s not be ‘Slim Cranky’.  The food’s delicious and service is great.

This was my second visit to Il Buco and I’d definitely go again.

img_3901The salted caramel gelato at Il Buco.

Yes, I did say brunch :-)

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And in the blink of an eye another NY week is over and it’s April already.

Wishing everyone a great weekend and a sweet & happy new(ish) month!

Spring is upon us and I hope to be posting with a little more frequency from now on. Really.

’tis the season of growth and renewal after all, right?

XX SP

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**The lemon meringue cake is at “E.A.T.” on upper Madison Ave.!

Both “Lucky Guy” play photos via Bloombergbusiness.com

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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A bientôt New York

..Slim Paley photo

We bid adieu to New York!

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Above, a few mementos of our week.

I’m a scrapbook keeper from way back, so I’m like a little squirrel wherever I go.

I finished reading “Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge” the biography of the American tycoon Harry Selfridge who created one of the largest, successful department stores in the UK and probably the world. Interesting man, very interesting life, but sadly, I found the book a little dry. I’ve heard a film is in the works and I imagine his story could definitely make a great movie.

Next, I’m going to read “A Summer of Hummingbirds” ” Love, Art, and Scandal in the intersecting world of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe & Martin Johnson Heade” which I picked up in my new favourite bookshop on the upper East side “Archivia Books

I’ll let you know if it’s good. Anything to do with Mark Twain, I’m in. Now that was a life and a film begging to be made.

Also in the photo, business cards from a few of the shops I had fun visiting, including “R by 45rpm” (great casual clothes, I love their indigo) and “Nicholas Brawer” ( Campaign furniture, sporting antiques, vintage bar accessories and great chat. I was thrilled to find in him a fellow Charles Baker devotee’ )

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Read my post about cocktails and Charles Baker Jr. Here

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Speaking of cocktails, I had a positively SUBLIME “Whiskey Smash” in Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel.

OMG. I don’t even like whiskey.

It’s not on the menu, so you have to ask for it-a friend told me I must try one.

She’s an even Bester friend now :)

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Slim Paley photo

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Tommy Rowles, the Irish bartender who has been crafting cocktails behind the bar at Bemelmans since 1958!

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and lest you be concerned that was my only cocktail (I know you worry) fear not Dear Reader.

We attended a delightful soiree in the home of fellow proud parents from my son’s graduating class (one of those fab. NY apartments with so much charm, not to mention one of the best examples of vintage red & white stripes used in a cool way, but I can’t pull my camera out all the time, as much as I’d love to)

I also went to The Kips Bay 40th Annual Decorator Show House cocktail party with my friend Heather Clawson from Habitually Chic. We had lots of fun and I enjoyed meeting Nicole from the blog So Haute (who gave me an instant “Instagram” lesson) and Stefan from Architect Design . It’s always nice to put a face to blogs you read.

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Todd Alexander Romano’s dining room at Kips Bay

This year’s show house (actually two large apartments in a new high-rise building on the upper West side) was filled with shiny, reflective surfaces, including the walls & ceiling treatments and “Green” was definitely the flavour of the moment, in more ways than one. The apartment boasted an outdoor pool-can you imagine? A pool in the heavens but, alas, no hot tub for cold NY nights. The party was in full swing, so impossible for me to snap any pics, but if you’re interested in seeing it all beautifully shot, check out Habitually Chic where Heather has several posts and extensive photos from her visit earlier in the week as well as the complete ‘low down’.

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Thom Filicia’s entrance/foyer at Kips Bay

Both photos via Habitually Chic

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.For the most part, the weather co-operated and I maintained my 10,000+ steps a day walk around the city..

Slim Paley photo

I found more colourful Prada windows,

although I didn’t get a great shot of this one commemorating the Schiaparelli exhibit at the Met (which sadly I didn’t see)

and Caution;

Thighs in reflection will look bigger than they actually are (or so I tell myself)

Or,

Does this window make me look fat?

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Words of wisdom in the windows at Bergdorf’s

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and of love on the stairs of “Opening Ceremony” downtown

Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

you DO remember the song, right?! (start at the top)

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My alter ego “The Barktorialist” was charmed by a new model in town

The dogs of NYSlim Paley photo

Meet My Gal “Friday” (just coming from her eyelash extensions appointment on the upper East Side)

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Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

I managed to keep breakfasts down to a moderately subdued level.

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I’m not saying there weren’t a few of these consumed this week…

crispy french friesSlim Paley Photo

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But I was good in the afternoons

Slim Paley photo

usually ordering salads.

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Our absolute favourite meal was at “Eleven Madison Park”

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Trust me on this one.

Jump through whatever hoops you must to secure a reservation.

The extended tasting menu was

one of the best and most fun dinners we’ve experienced in a long time.

The menu below doesn’t even include the “amuse bouche(s)” (which I don’t want to spoil for you, but are truly ‘amusing’) or the insanely delicious dessert we enjoyed in the kitchen, where I (insert red face) when asked to ‘crack’ open with our spoons the dry ice prepared-rhubarb mound of wonderfulness floating in a divine liquer, cracked the actual glass cup instead.

Cringe. They promised me I wasn’t the first.

Some sort of mob boss was also too heavy handed.

Oh… red face encore just reliving the moment.

You have to believe me when I say I’m one of those people who never breaks anything!

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No spoilers, but the apple tea, the “lollipops”, the clams (served 3 ways), the lobster and the “Egg Cream” were my favourites.

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Definitely one of the most handsome locations in Manhattan

Eleven Madison ParkPhotos by Francesco Tonelli

The staff couldn’t possibly have been more charming in helping us to celebrate our Graduate with such a memorable feast.

“11 Madison Park: The Cookbook” video here

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Sunset in NYSlim Paley photo

Good night Manhattan & Manhattanites!

Until next time…

I have to go unpack.

I hope I don’t break anything.

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